Mobile Phone Use as Sequential Processes: From Discrete Behaviors to Sessions of Behaviors and Trajectories of Sessions

10/03/2019
by   Tai-Quan Peng, et al.
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Mobile phone use is an unfolding process by nature. In this study, it is explicated as two sequential processes: mobile sessions composed of an uninterrupted set of behaviors and mobile trajectories composed of mobile sessions and mobile-off time. A dataset of a five-month behavioral logfile of mobile application use by approximately 2,500 users in Hong Kong is used. Mobile sessions are constructed and mined to uncover sequential characteristics and patterns in mobile phone use. Mobile trajectories are analyzed to examine intraindividual change and interindividual differences on mobile re-engagement as indicators of behavioral dynamics in mobile phone use. The study provides empirical support for and expands the boundaries of existing theories about combinatorial use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Finally, the understanding on mobile temporality is enhanced, that is, mobile temporality is homogeneous across social sectors. Furthermore, mobile phones redefine, rather than blur, the boundary between private and public time.

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