Part of the Volume on Youth, Identity, and Digital Media
This chapter, which is based on extensive empirical studies, focuses on the meaning of the mobile in young people's lives, specifically in relation to questions of identity and learning. First, the chapter discusses the concept of mobile media and the role of the mobile phone in the context of contemporary youth culture. The main themes are availability, always on, connected and available users; the experience of presence during mobile communication; the importance of the mobile as a personal log for activities; and networks and the documentation of experiences. Following on a discussion of these themes is an analysis of the mobile as a tool for learning social norms. The chapter suggests that young peoples' identities are in fact mobile, and that the use of digital media, in particular the mobile, facilitates and enhances mobility in praxis and virtually.