The School of English, Media Studies, & Art History, The University of Queensland
Education and Arts
Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
Although mobile media are commonly associated with distant communications, young adults also use Short Message Service (SMS) texting for inter-group exchanges in co-located circumstances. Such co-located mobile phone use is particularly evident where usual communication cues are compromised by a chaotic environment. Chaos can ensue when cues of voice and vision are impaired, with secondary impacts upon clear thought and fixed points of reference. A dark, noisy club environment would provide one example of this dynamic at work. Chaotic surroundings can encourage a pleasing suspension of individual control, while exposing participants to a range of social and emotional risks. Text communication offers the security of connecting with co-located companions in such circumstances. Mobile phone use mediates the chaos and introduces the possibility of synchronous activity. Accepting the argument that texting is a form of asynchronous communication, this paper suggests its commonplace co-located use to synchronise activity in chaotic situations.