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A Story of Love and Hate: Smartphones in Students’ Lives

Mediated Millennials

ISBN: 978-1-83909-078-3, eISBN: 978-1-83909-077-6

Publication date: 11 November 2019


Usage patterns of mobile phones in Israel position them as instruments of great importance and as everyday, multipurpose, and interpersonal devices. This study utilizes a critical perspective of the “uses and gratifications” approach to explore the usage of and gratification sought from smartphone usage of millennials. Sixty personal in-depth interviews were conducted during 2013 with millennials (undergraduate students) with the primary goal of exploring millennials’ perceptions of smartphone usages, as well as their personal experiences with smartphones and the role of smartphones in their lives. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze students’ reflections on the roles of smartphones in their lives. Participants have expressed a great bonding with their smartphone and relationships that can be described in term of "love and hate.” The thematic analysis highlighted the addictive elements of using their smartphone, that is, using it more frequently and under undesired circumstances than one would like to, and even becoming anxious about losing the device or even getting too far away from it. Other leading themes included the influence of external pressures to use smartphones, the varied usefulness that smartphones serve in participants’ lives, and a strong sense of "Fear of missing out" as an explanation for their extensive use of their smartphones. The findings of this chapter indicate that smartphones have become an indispensable medium among young adults, used due to practical, as well as to emotional reasons; inner, as well as external impulses.



Elishar-Malka, V., Ariel, Y. and Avidar, R. (2019), "A Story of Love and Hate: Smartphones in Students’ Lives", Schulz, J., Robinson, L., Khilnani, A., Baldwin, J., Pait, H., Williams, A.A., Davis, J. and Ignatow, G. (Ed.) Mediated Millennials (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 19), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 33-50.



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