This post is based on a paper I wrote for Dr. Paul Booth‘s New Media and Culture class, which took place during the Fall 2013 quarter at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize three articles on mobile media technologies, and the impact they have on the physical world. Please feel free to join the conversation on mobility by leaving a comment in the comments section.
The mobility of new media technologies – in particular smartphones – has allowed users to layer the virtual on top of the physical, and thus create a third space that represents a melding of the two. This mobility has transformed how individuals interact with the physical environment around them, and this has resulted in a physical environment that is far more interactive and immersive due to the increased melding of the virtual and the physical. Indeed, users no longer need to be seated in front of their desktop computers (or even lug around bulky laptops) in order to enter the virtual space; there is no need for them to login to a virtual space that can only be interfaced through a terminal that is hooked into a wall (or is simply impractical to carry around). With mobile media technology, users can access the virtual anywhere at any time. More importantly, however, this virtual space continues to exist regardless of whether or not individuals access it, but it can only be actualized and made “real” through the use of mobile media technologies (Fig. 1).