By Stephen Lax (eds.)
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It was viewed as something to be expected in a highly technological society – a satellite ‘glitch’. The ‘electronic tether’ theme played out in the media was not reﬂected in the sentiments of the pager users in our survey. Indeed, the majority of pager owners who directly experienced contact problems reported no greater sense of freedom. The important role that the pager plays in work – such as by enabling individuals to be reached by prospective customers – and in everyday life – by helping parents and individuals manage a geographically distributed lifestyle – suggests that the mobility enabled by the pager has reshaped access in ways that reinforce the values and interests of most users.
An earlier report of our survey results was presented by Hong et al. (1999). Other studies in this tradition within the communications ﬁeld include a study of a 300-block area of New York City that was without telephone service for 23 days (Wurtzel and Turner 1977), and an earlier study that took advantage of a newspaper strike to investigate the social role of newspapers (Berelson 1949). The telephone survey was administered by an independent survey ﬁrm, Davis Market Research Services, Calabasas, California.
An exception includes an emergence of a few studies of wireless and mobile communication, but these were focused on telephony (Katz 1996). A problem with the few surveys conducted on the pager is that once such ICTs are integrated into one’s life, it is difﬁcult to discern their importance. This is the proverbial problem of a ﬁsh not being able to see it depends on water. For example, a 1996 sample survey of 1008 US adults asked respondents whether ICTs like the pager and PC made their lives easier or more complex (Sloan School of Management 1999).
Access Denied in the Information Age by Stephen Lax (eds.)