Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries

First Advisor

Dr Lelia Green

Abstract

The use of the mobile phone is a ubiquitous feature of many an individual's social life within contemporary society. Given this, it is somewhat surprising that little academic research has been undertaken into its effects on the social and cultural lives of key user populations. In particular, the Short Message Service- SMS texting- is a mobile phone application that has transformed the lives of large numbers of adolescent city dwellers. Moreover, teenagers and young adults, who represent the adolescent population, have adopted this mobile phone application and subsequently applied it to their social lives in ways that never would have been envisaged when it was first invented. Specifically, the coupling of the portability of the mobile phone and text-based SMS Messaging has resulted in the co-present sharing of the mobile phone and its contents with strangers or the familiar friendship circle as part of 'making a connection'. SMS messaging is increasingly playing a role in the forming and maintenance of relationships. In particular, this communication technology supports a crucial preoccupation of adolescents, which is the fanning of both dating and friendship liaisons. This thesis seeks to investigate the role SMS plays in the forming and maintenance of adolescent dating relationships, and also addresses elements of its role in relation to friendship networks.

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