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Mobile technologies have brought convenience, flexibility and connectedness in our lives by enabling us to be reachable anywhere and anytime. All of our environments such as work and home converge through a single device and we can now receive private calls at work and professional calls during the weekend. Mobile technologies have transformed geographical distances and allow unplanned interruptions. While boundary theory suggests that individuals create, maintain and modify their boundaries in order to classify and simplify their environments, we focus here on how people use their devices and manage the boundaries that have been erased by mobile technologies. Based on an original qualitative research of twenty three mini-case studies, we identify three practices by which individuals resocialize the distance: construction of a meta-role, delegation of role separation to technological devices and ‘sedentarization’ of mobile technologies by multiplying technological devices.
Battard, N., Mangematin, V.: Idiosyncratic distances: Impact of mobile technology practices on role segmentation and integration. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Forthcoming.