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Comunicar Journal 33: Cybermedia and mobile phones (Vol. 17 - 2009)

A theoretical analysis proposal on mobile phone use by adolescents


Mª-Carmen García-Galera

Jordi-Manel Monferrer-Tomás


The current study analyzes the different ways in which teenagers use their mobile phones, and, based on several theoretical conceptualizations, it provides an approach to the instrumental and symbolic dimensions of this form of communication, as well as the functions– ludic-expressive, referential and communicative –derived from it. The theoretical contributions put forward here lay the ground for further investigations on how minors use mobile telephony, the influences of new technologies on social relations and the responsibilities of the social agents involved, mainly families and mobile phone operators themselves. This work also intends to be a starting point for future empirical studies on the habits and new ways in which young people interact with mobile telephony, and the risks associated with improper uses of this new technology.


Mobile phone, uses, young people, teenagers, functions, communication, social relations, social responsibility