Emotional attachments with mobile media technologies

In a detailed post on emotional attachments with mobile media, Deborah Lupton has offered a response to my article in the comfort of mobile media. Deborah agrees with my point about the general lack of attention given to the material attachments that people generate with the devices themselves. She follows this up with a detailed overview of some of the pieces that do consider the types of emotional attachments that individuals have with mobile media devices. Deborah points to some of her own articles in this area, and to some blog posts that cover the same issues. My article was an attempt to trigger some debate, so it’s nice to see that it has provoked a response. At the conclusion of her post Deborah offers a series of questions that might guide further research into these emotional attachments:

Much remains to be explored, including the following questions: What does it feel like to carry, wear and use a mobile digital device? How much does their appearance and size matter? How are these devices incorporated into the habits and practices of everyday life (the habitus)? What are the practices of appropriation? How are they resisted? How do these devices configure users’ bodies and sense of selfhood and what are the emotional dimensions of this? What are the enabling and constraining aspects of their use? How do users adjust to giving up one device for another? How do they feel if the technology stops working? What are the interactions between the feelings configured and circulated via the texts and images produced by these devices and the physical material objects themselves?

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