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Persistently present: College students, social-mobile technologies, and the transformation of social life

Mark A Gammon, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Persistently Present argues that we need to more fully reassess our thinking about the relationship(s) between social connectedness and technologically mediated forms of communication (particularly social-mobile technologies). Noting that contemporary social life is marked by connections that are more flexible, accessible, negotiable, and persistent because communication opportunities are nearly constant, I argue that social-mobile technologies are shifting and reconfiguring the ways that students build and maintain their social relationships. Within this environment social-mobile technologies are effectively serving as tools of social extensibility , allowing individuals to expand, enhance, and extend their social presence. As a result, these technologies are altering the when, where, and how (contexts) of contemporary connectedness and interactions. The concept of social extensibility is investigated across four important and interdependent areas that emerged in my data and the related literature: connectivity, virtual spaces, non-spaces, and expressiveness.

Subject Area

Social structure|Mass communications|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Gammon, Mark A, "Persistently present: College students, social-mobile technologies, and the transformation of social life" (2009). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3359896.