Internet Users in Public Spaces

Anthony Townsend comments on a recent study that is wary of wireless access in public spaces. He says the study has an outdated understanding of how people use spaces today.
June 13, 2011, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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The study, published in the Journal of Communication, says that "Internet use within public spaces affords interactions with existing acquaintances that are more diverse than those associated with mobile phone use. However, the level of colocated social diversity to which Internet users are exposed is less than that of most users of these spaces."

Townsend responds:

"First, the most critical element of how online and face-to-face worlds now interact is the widespread and diversifying use of social media and electronic communications to coordinate face-to-face meetings."

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Published on Monday, June 13, 2011 in Urban Omnibus
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