Title: Digital opportunity: the digital gap between openness and closeness of relational divide upon the mobile phone usage

Authors: Chyi-In Wu, Chao-Wen Chan, Yi-Chien Chen, Kenichi Ishii

Addresses: Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, No.128, Sec. 2, Academia Road, Taipei City 115, Taiwan. ' Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, No.128, Sec. 2, Academia Road, Taipei City 115, Taiwan. ' Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, No.128, Sec. 2, Academia Road, Taipei City 115, Taiwan. ' Graduate School of System and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba, Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan

Abstract: The possibility of communication nowadays depends fully on the usage of modern technology. Several digital divides exist with respect to Mobile Phone (MP) usage, and they further aggravate the interpersonal relationship. In personal connection, the availability of MP users can be measured by several indicators, such as phone number sharing behaviour and phone answering strategies. The MP users also look over the necessity of using their MP to communicate with others in daily life. The |dual availability| model distinguishes active/passive attitude and behaviour of individual|s calling and receiving styles. In the relational connection, the usage of MP, which shows multiple dimensions, such as phone contacts, face-to-face contacts and spatial distance effects, implies the openness and closeness of interpersonal relationships. In our research, MP use is a proxy of human behaviour as well as relationships, and it represents a digital opportunity for users to improve their relationship. With regard to the personal connections, caller effects show overwhelming domination over either the media use or relationship change, while the receiver effects show weaker influence. Unilateral relationships and network relationships are respectively influenced by personal and relational connections and consequently demonstrate different appearances.

Keywords: callers; contact; dual availability; internet; enterprise management; interpersonal relationships; mobile communications; mobile phones; mobile phone usage; receivers; relational divide; Taiwan; digital divide; communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIEM.2006.010919

International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 2006 Vol.4 No.3, pp.269 - 292

Published online: 17 Sep 2006 *

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