Phone call, SMS or perhaps a Whatsapp message?

Aug 29, 2013

Smartphone users' communication habits have been studied in a doctoral thesis at Aalto University. The users' choices are affected, e.g., by the strength of the relationship with the other party and the context in which the phone is used.

Doctoral Candidate Juuso Karikoski explored the communication habits of users by installing a research application on their phones, and through additional research interviews and questionnaires. The data were collected from 140 - 200 users of smartphones mainly running the Symbian operating system. The sample was biased towards Finnish in their twenties - a group typically called early adopters, who like to try out new innovations.

'Most of the research material was collected over the years 2009 - 2010, when smartphones were used mainly by these early adopters. It is possible that the patterns of use displayed by the early adopters will be reflected in the future usage habits of the general population', says Karikoski.

At work and university, communication occurs mainly in writing

The contexts of interest in relation to the results were the 'home', 'office' (the place the subjects spent office hours, e.g., a place of study or work) and 'elsewhere', i.e., places a person visited, or through which the person passed while travelling.

Regardless of the context, the phones were used mostly for and text messages. The most communication occurred in the office, where the most emails and text messages were also sent. On the other hand, outgoing calls from the office were the shortest in duration. The least calls were made at home, but the calls had the longest duration. Messaging services through social media and the Internet were used the most 'elsewhere'.

Texting to close contacts

The strength of the relationship between the parties affected whether the contact would be made by or phone call. Both methods were used for close and more distant contacts. For people close to each other, texting was more common. It was also more likely to call a person to whom text messages were sent. The same did not, however, hold true the other way around. Many of those surveyed did not necessarily exchange text messages at all with people they called.

In the interviews, it was found that in addition to the context and strength of the relationship, the choice of communication method was affected by location and the availability of the person being contacted, the service price and terms of contract of the mobile service provider, the participants of the communication (whether between two people or group ), and the status of the phone itself (e.g., battery status).

Juuso Karikoski will defend his doctoral thesis at the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering on Friday, 6 September at 12.00 noon.

Explore further: Can you talk? Apple patent calls on iPhone status check system

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sore thumbs? US text messaging declines

May 02, 2013

Americans are saying goodbye to text messaging, a wireless industry group says, as Internet-based applications such as Apple's Messages are starting to taking over from what was once a cash cow for phone companies.

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

2 hours ago

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Is Parkinson's an autoimmune disease?

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own immune system, similar to the ...