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Mobile communications, social networks, and urban travel: Hypertext as a new metaphor for conceptualizing spatial interaction
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The paper discusses the widespread use of mobile communications and how these are creating changes in family and social life, particularly when referring to urban travel. Urban travel can no longer be understood as a fix space-time relation. Distances have become flexible, as they can be rearranged and renegotiated through real-time interaction due to the dramatic changes in mobile communication. The adoption of new modes of space-time coordination, changing time use and increasing mobility, changing use of existing urban nodes, the blurring of boundaries between home and work, the importance of social networks and social capital, and the shift to person-to-person connectivity, the spatial structure and processes of interaction among individuals have become much more complicated in this age of mobile communications. Research shows that men and women use and see mobile phones differently. Women see and use mobile phones to serve a wider purpose than men do. Women use the mobile for security/safety particularly to talk with their children, manage the household from a distance, and carry on their family/social responsibilities. Men talk more with their spouses and colleagues using mobile phones to bring work into the personal life. In Israel a study showed that men are more concerned about reaching others where women are more concerned about being reached.