Posts tagged ‘mobile technology’

11/11/2011

Mobile Movements

One of sentences that immediately stood out from “The Mobile Civil Society” piece was:

“The communication networks provided by mobile telephony can be formed and reformed instantly, and messages are often received from a known source, enhancing their credibility.”

Isn’t a phone just a phone anymore?  The answer to this ridiculous rhetorical question is a big NO, phones haven’t been just phones for a very long time  – this piece speaks to that truth.    We can do countless things on our phones now that were not even possible 5 years ago – the rapid development of mobile technology has been breathtaking.

For the audience of this blog, and the people they know, and the people that they know know, phones are ubiquitous.  But to take it back to Paul Adams, the author we read last week, our phones are also a symbol of the inclusion/exclusion dynamic since our access to the phones separate us from those in the world who don’t have access to mobile technology.

And of course, phones aren’t just phones any more because people are now using them as tools to mobilize for a varied number of reasons, some serious (political protests) and some not so serious (flash mobs).  The potential power of mobile technology to propel social movements is the main focus of this piece.  The Phillpine and South Korea examples were great case studies that show that power in pratice.  In the South Korea example, mobile technology was particularly useful.  As the authors point out:

“While the internet-based campaign had lasted for years, it was the mobile phone that mobilized large numbers of young voters on election day (194).”

Phones definitely aren’t just phones anymore.  They can also be tools for destruction, as the 2004 Madrid bombings demonstrate.  That always seem to be the dynamic – great technological advancements that make our lives easier also carry the potential for great harm if it falls into the wrong hands.