In Digital Immigrants and Media Integration: The Smartphone Is the Synthesizer, Sally J. McMillan draws insights from the lived experience of digital immigrants who are Baby Boomers and who grew up without digital mobile technologies and have transitioned to become smartphone users. McMillan traces key points in media evolution that shaped the communication tools that digital immigrants use today, demonstrating that continued incremental change has led to a shift in focus from media types to media interfaces, with smartphones becoming ubiquitous and indispensable – the smartphone, she posits, is now firmly tied to identity. Although the telegraph was the first medium to allow the message to arrive before the messenger and initiated the transition from “cool” to “hot” media, it is the smartphone that has fully synthesized communication forms and functions into a single digital and mobile device. Through collecting and analyzing these personal and public histories, McMillan finds that digital immigrants continue to seek a balance between value and ease, and between breadth and depth of communication. Scholars of communication, media ecology, and technology will find this book of particular interest.
Sally J. McMillan is professor emerita at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
List of Tables
Chapter 1: Introduction
Section I: Forms
Chapter 2: Talking: With and without a Tether
Chapter 3: Writing: From Atoms and Ink to Bits and Bytes
Chapter 4: Pictures: Still, Moving, and “Appy”
Section II: Functions
Chapter 5: Keeping up with Family, Friends, and Trends
Chapter 6: (Re)searching and Navigating
Chapter 7: Commerce and Commercials
Chapter 8: Conclusion
About the Author
“Digital Immigrants and Media Integration is an engaging and lucid exploration of the long term experiences and implications of new media. Grounded in a cultural and phenomenological approach to communication the book illuminates the often overlooked mundane but critically important interactions we have with contemporary communication technologies.”