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Mobile radio interaction: the organization of a remote state of incipient talk

 

Mobile telephones equipped with push-to-talk services are constraining the ways in which people organize their conversational interaction. Push to talk (PTT) functions similar to a two-way radio; at any time, a speaker can press a button to establish a connection without the recipient's consent. The PTT channel approximates a remote incipient state; turn-by-turn talk may occur, then lapse, and then occur again. In contrast to a context-rich copresent state of incipient talk, the remote state of incipient talk with PTT is simplex, allowing only one party, one way communication at a time. As a result, the absence of a response, especially to a re-engaging turn, is difficult to account for. Delays between turns-at-talk are unavoidable and leave recipients without the resource of timing the placement of their next utterance with respect to the prior. And the linear nature of PTT communication impacts how speakers design their turn-in-a-series and orient to sequences of action. The findings describe speakers' turn-taking, turn design and sequence organization in this mobile, remote state of incipient talk. In addition, we discuss how PTT users are able to capitalize on the technology's features (others can not hear you unless you push the button to talk, each turn-at-talk is followed by a gap, etc.) to simultaneously manage social interaction with copresent persons as they engage in remote conversational interaction.

 
citation

Szymanski, M. H. ; Aoki, P. M. ; Woodruff, A. ; Vinkhuyzen, E. Mobile radio interaction: the organization of a remote state of incipient talk. Pacific Sociological Association; April 2004.