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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2022): 0.2

Veronika Kalmus, Anu Masso, Signe Opermann, Karin Täht

Although the literature has paid a lot of attention to the importance of mobile digital media in shaping people’s perception of personal and social time, little empirical research has focused on these issues. We aim at bridging this gap by testing empirically a hypothesis that shared perceptions of social life in the smartphone era vary generationally. The analysis, based on representative survey data collected in Estonia in 2014 (n = 573), revealed three underlying dimensions of the perceptions of smartphone use: (1) Expanding flexibility and diverse opportunities, (2) Vanishing boundaries and foci, and (3) Changing social identity and communication conventions. Generational differences manifested in the case of the first and the second dimension, lending support to the initial hypothesis. In the case of the third dimension, other structural factors, time use and subjective perceptions of personal time, rather than generational differences, explained the variation in the perceptions of smartphone use.


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