The Cell Phone as a Window Into Personal Context

What kind of context can you presume about someone’s life, attitudes and values based on the kind of cell phone they carry? A good deal, actually. In the spirit of personal branding via consumer choice / behavior, i bring you yet another perspective from the Sociology of style…so put your crackberry aside for a few minutes and find out what you are saying to the world with your portable communication device:

What Does Your Cell Phone Say About You?

Your phone is more than functional.  It’s the accessory you always carry, the product with which you have the most intimate relationship.  For many, their cell phone is an extension of their identity.  From the Zach Morris phone to flip phones to touch screens,  mobile phone design and functionality has evolved immensely since they first entered our hands in 1983.  So what does yours say about you?


  • Key characteristics of users: Trendy, tech-savvy, early adopters, urban, smart (both in taste and in brain power), works in a creative field  (or thinks like someone who does)
  • Why this phone? It’s rated number one (why settle for number two?) and is the best mix of fun and functional, business and pleasure; sleekest design
  • Cool accessories:  From bottle openers to speaker pillows to pocket guitar, no other phone can compete with the ingenuity of iPhone accessories.


  • Key characteristics of users: Older, workaholics, people who “can’t handle touchscreens,” O.C.D.
  • Why this phone? Some employers mandate them; they satisfy the requirements of highly regulated industries; the QWRTY keyboard makes typing and messaging fast and easy; no need to wait 15 min for the email refresh, plus the little red light blinks to let you know about any new or missed message (it’s instant gratification — hence the “crackberry” nickname)
  • Cool accessories: A rechargeable battery pack for constant communicators, because charging once a day just isn’t enough. And there’s the Blackberry Peer: a “camera” for kids, with a corresponding app for the parent’s Blackberry. Parents can monitor their kids through the pictures they take, and find their kids with the Peer’s built-in GPS system.


So which one are you?


Categories: Anthropology, Consumer Anthropology, Consumer Culture, Culture, Fashion, pop culture, sociology, Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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