This paper presents the findings from a qualitative study of mobile phones and youth culture in Melbourne, Australia. The focus is on how the social dynamic resulting from the use of such communications tools has created a paradigm shift that has changed the nature of inter-human relations. Mobile facilitated interaction is driving a fundamental change in social mores with respect to engagement and commitment, to notions of fluid time versus fixed time and ultimately to urban mobility. Connectivity is becoming central to what it means to have a social identity and users are responding to this by merging bits of data to create their ‘ideal digital self’ through which they communicate socially. This calls into question the nature of ‘digital identity’, indicating it is not only about how much information can be restricted, but rather, what is revealed. While the results are based on a localized study, it is proposed that this phenomenon is happening across societies and that mobile phones themselves are becoming the globalizing icon of youth culture in the early 21st Century
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