What happens to us without a third hand? Mobile phones and the category of being connected — an experiment
Mobile devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, have become the dominating technology in many everyday contexts. The ongoing changes have so far been poorly explored regarding the question of what they mean to media technology users. The article presents the outcomes of an experiment concerning the usage of mobile phones. Being part of a multistage explorative research, the experiment has been developed in the context of a university course dealing with the problem of media usage and media biographies. During the experiment, the course participants stopped using their mobile phones for a previously fixed period, recording their experiences in a personal research diary. The resulting material is analysed by qualitative methods, aiming to identify narration categories and strategies occuring in the texts. How do the participants adapt to the unusual situation? By what means do they describe the time of the experiment? Analyzing such questions, the text gives insights into the meaning and the role of the mobile phone in terms of a semantic and socio-communicational construct.