Social complexity is thought to be a hallmark of modern life. Individuals now maintain complex personal networks of local and distant friends, family, and workmates. Nevertheless, the frequent exchange of mobile text messages has been shown to strengthen and reinforce existing social bonds, which is at odds with the general trend towards social complexity. Using 3.1 million texting and calling events, along with survey and interview data collected from five sources, I will provide nuanced discussion of mobile texting practices with friend, family, school, and work ties.
Jeffrey Boase is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the relationship between communication technology and personal networks. He is particularly interested in how emerging technologies such as smartphones and social media platforms may enable or hinder the transfer of information and support within personal networks.