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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter identifies old and new paradigms for how people engage with mobile media and their implications for the self. The first involves talking to distant others, which can divide the self when done around co-present others in public settings. The next paradigm marks a shift from voice conversations to messaging, which can be more easily weaved into the flows of daily life moments and movements. The authors revisit how over time this leads to routinization, to the extent that the technology becomes a deeply embedded part of the self. Finally, the authors identify a paradigm presently gaining momentum with mobile conversational agents (e.g., Siri and Google Assistant), which heralds a return to talking. With this mode of engagement, the technology shifts away from the self to become the “other” as users interact with and not just through it.

Keywords: conversational agent, embedding, messaging, mobile communication, self, texting, voice calling

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