Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ripples of change; Domesticated bliss and how Sony got a new home for christmas

My Sony Erikson mobile was a gift, but I had to get a sim card and establish a contract with a service provider, take it home, plug it in, charge it… Wait…Read the manual. Personalise it; set the language (English and predictive test) enter the ph. no.s I wanted (I’ve outsourced my memory). Send a message to all my family & friends so they know my no., set the calendar, clock, choose the background, select preferred ring-tone and volume. Reply to half the friends and relations. Set the alarm clock. Put in appointments. Phew. Work the camera, store the photos, learn how to send photos, and bluetooth (???) them to my computer…Read the manual online….Check with service provider online about overseas roaming to send or call from Aus to NZ on a NZ ph., learn to check for service provider coverage, remember to keep it with me or risk my relationship, check for missed calls for the same reason. Get conscious of costs and keep feeding it with top ups by prepay and ensure its power supply is maintained. Learn to clear messages sent and received b4 it tells me 'memory too full' and won't oblige. Transfuse it by credit card when traveling. Check the bank balance. I still don’t know how to use it for email or internet, play games, download music, pay for parking, check movies … it’s already old technology and I haven’t yet learned all its functions.
I’ve had pets that are less demanding. Well at least the tamagotchi and the goldfish... and the cats.
Oh… sudden flash of enlightenment; I’m the one being domesticated!

Thankyou Bruno Latour for addressing the second source of uncertainty;
actions are 'other'taken.
And thanks also to Annemarie Mol in "I eat an apple" and telling the story of grasses.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Reassembling the social, when is a group not a group...

The litmus test of an Actor-network study according to Bruno Latour (2005) in Reassembling the social, is that it attends to what makes up events. This includes both human actors and otherwise, as well as explaining and demonstrating the assemblages that sustain or change.

Such exploration ‘feeds off controversies’. The controversies include the difficulties of a counselling message being not only constructed in 160 characters or less but also in considering whether such an interaction is of therapeutic value or not. At present we do not know; there is no evidence base for the practices which are evolving.

In learning to feed off the controversy I revisited Latour. My study had identified groups to study. The ethics applications require a stating in advance of who and what might be involved, a naming of ‘groups’. What I am now considering is whether the groups I pre-identified exist. I have found myself explaining an opening I have kept in case more participants come forward. In describing where I am up to for funding grants or in presenting initial findings, I am asked where I am up to in my study, and I am not quite sure. I think actor-network as a research approach jars against such arbitrary constraints. I answer that I am at the end of my data collect . Knowing that I also hold a space open for what other change may evolve, what other artefacts emerge or if any more young people come forward. I had been thinking the limited data from this group might be to do access or trust r consent issues. Now I’m wondering if I wrongly assumed the groups existence. In saying this I am not saying that young people don’t use the service, the service is clearly used, that artefacts clearly support this. What I am reconsidering is my assumption that they are a group.

Latour suggests that such preconceptions might require revisiting. It seems obvious in retrospect, however I find myself having an ahah moment. The young people I named as a group in my ethics application never meet, never coalesce, never talk with each other. I’m not even sure that they are young! All I know is they are identified as being a group by those who provide a service. A group defined by their absence, defined by being external. Taking a performative definition, this group comprises those who use or could use, or might use, the service. ‘They’, are ‘other’.

The work of making, and remaking this group, is actively constructed not from within the group but externally for the most part.
Further controversy feeds this study; I provide opportunity for the data to speak, voicing presence when presence wasn’t wanted. The texts received talk of how hard involvement is and talk of concerns for privacy. I am aware of a tension in making the invisible visible.

Opportunities and Resistence CCK08

I am surprised by some of the ironies involved in the approach taken to connectivism and learning in the CCK08 course.
First jolt was a separation of those doing it for credit from those not. A two tiered system became established and no one commented negatively on this?
Then there was a philosophical intent of learning being because you want it to happen, but there's still a timeline and a curriculum of sorts. Admittedly, not doing it for credit means i dont give a damn beyond the fact that some level of social organisation is needed to make it possible to even bump into the people one might want to dialogue with. So serendipitous and individual learning benefits from at least some structural supports.
There was also a tendency to maintain one's own silos. Maybe an activity to deliberately select and cross from areas of habit would have helped here. I might have been enticed into 2nd life beyond the arrival space ... i might have been required to intersect this with that in terms of identifying a new area with one i had previously explored. I did this anyway, placing ANT (Actor-network theory) alongside connectivism, but will connectivism start having a look at ANT?

Nonetheless, I took opportunities to go where i hadnt before...and enjoyed the banter of connecting with dead people, as well as finding real live people who could expand on my own thinking of the intersect between ANT and connectivism. People such as Keith Lyons with a delightful treatise on wayfinding and both Roy Williams and Frances Bell brought a curiosity to ideas and applications I shared.

But the question i find most curious, is well addressed inside of ANT.
"Why is it so difficult to change the practice of education? What kinds of opportunities can we embrace if we are able to make fundamental and systemic changes?" For this is where ANT is most useful. For a formal read I recommend reading Latour on Reassembling the social." For a quirky approach, try Latour's Aramis. Not explicit about education but a great study in change, resistence, resilience...
If making the intersections in networking the ideas is in the too hard basket, take a more direct route, have a look at Bigum, C., & Rowan, L. (2004). Flexible learning in teaching education: myths, muddles and models. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 32(3), 213-226.
It is the network, the connections in place that sustains, and this also points to what might be altered. For it might always be otherwise, what's configured always takes work in being held the same and is always subject, at least potentially, to being reconfigured differently.

As Chris and Leonie say in the paper,

This matters because how we frame our work patterns are laid down, grooves formed, a kind of template is created which also limits, proscribes, {contains, constrains, constructs} what can come next...we need to be aware of how particular performances of flexibility close down what is possible, rather than the rhetoric suggesting an opening up ....
If we have a technology, a way of doing things, which is, in crude terms, an assemblage of people and things, then to justify replacing or adding to this existing way of doing things, a claim has to be made that things will be done better, faster, more efficiently and so on with the implementation of the new.
This is what Lee Sproull and Sarah Kiesler (1991) identified in their studies of communication technologies and named ‘first level effects’—‘the planned efficiency gains or productivity gains that justify an investment in the new (1991, p. 4). However, as they go on to argue, the only certain outcome of implementing a new technology is that things change: ‘ …people pay attention to different things, have contact with different people, and depend on one another differently’.
In telling of experiences and sharing ideas about how teaching and learning might be shaped, we too are shaped.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being in the belly of the monster

I am consumed.
I have been reading Donna Haraway at the same time as my computer has decided to take me inside of itself. I never wanted to enter in to its inner workings. That's why I use a mac. But with a noticeable slowing of processes I have forced myself to clean up the desktop, declutter, virus check, and purge at least half the cookies. However these activities have still not had a significant effect on internal workings or external connections.
I suspect i will have to wait for the stars to be back in alignment.
Meantime I have a rash in the form of a white stripe on my blog that would require significant dosing in html code to cure. A risk that could wipe out my blogs existence...
And today my significantly sized PhD library in endnote X has developed what seems to be a neurological disability where synapses do not want to connect. The folder of files is there, the attachment icon for each article dutifully displays but inside of each entry the icon of the image has gone invisible and inaccessible.
Is there a prozac like application providing for reuptake opportunities for endnote?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On the way I lost it

I arrived in Melbourne at a reasonable hour. I politely waited telling hte elderly woman I had sat with that I was not in a hurry, that waiting for a wheelchair though a nuisance for her was not a problem to me.
I understood it took a while to get luggage offloaded. I took my time. I allowed myself politely to be immobilised in my window seat and only considered my need for a loo for the last 3/4 hour of the flight, and the 15 minute delay in getting a wheelchir.
And then I waited at a luggage carousel. The wrong one as it turned out before catching the audio system advising fina passengers of where they might pick up luggage for my flight.
And by then it was so easy then to see my luggage was not there.
Bother, damn and several more expletives.
What is it with a system that lets anyone pick up a bag and no checks?
Its a cool bag. Black of course. This helps with its coolness factor, and its slimming, must therefore be lighter...
Yeah right.
Faint check. So chic. so like another bag that wasnt mine. So I wait for Emirates to try to locate the Elizabeth with baggage that is tres chic also. But shes obviously cleared customs and the airport, despite not knowing how to fill in an address or contact details on a luggage label.
And then I start remembering whats in the bag.
All my PhD interview notes. Ok, but the interviews are on my ipod. But my ipod is in the bag...
I struggle not to get overly distressed after all the interviews are also on my laptop which is with me :) as is my conference paper, and I also have this on email so its not the end of the word. Yet. Guess where the charger is...
None with me, nor meds... clothes, jewels.
I remember Artichokes story of being caught without a change of clothes. At least i have several days i can shop b4 presenting at a conference.
Artichoke sounded so together.
I wasnt. By the third customs person to comment on my lack of luggage I lost it.
2nd lesson of the night: do not swear at customs officials. They do not like it.
They also dont take well to suggestions.
My passport photo while beautiful, looks nothing like me....
Eventually on to a bus to Southern Cross station... I arrive and let my friend know I'm there and await a pick up. Spencer street was soooo quiet one or two cars only. But Sue texts me saying me she was struggling with traffic. I patiently wait thinking I'm at the bottom of town and its quieter than a Saturday night in Auckland.
Eventually it dawns to Sue, the jammed traffic is because the street is closed.
Midnight here is 2.00 in the morning at home, I might be studying for a PhD but the common sense quotient is seriously lacking.

2b avoid(ant) or in the belly of the monster

A curious feature of Annemarie Mol's writing is that she does not use the language of ANT (Actor-network theory). She does not refer to actors/actants with or without the hyphen to networks. Material semiotics are used but not named.
Does this make her any less an ANT author?
In Ant(icipating) some discussion I'd be interested in any readers of her latest book The logic of care commenting on what makes this more or less informed by ANT.
Some unantlike contentions are noted:
Mol sets out to articulate a logic of care with the intent to improve health care.
She also distills stories rather than sketching a faithful representation.

As Woolgar et al discuss in A turn to ontology in STS, and in paraphrasing responses from John Law and Annemarie Mol:
Ontology has implications for for more or less preferred courses of actions.
At hte same time, there is no place from which to make a stable decision about what matters. We are all as Haraway reminds us, in the belly of the monster.
In performing our own practices, we too are in the belly of the monster, there isnt an outside; we arent innocent. We are caught up and done in a web of relations. This means that our doings are themselves in one way or another consequential. It materialises, it matters. It is after all where we are and what we do and how we make our differences.

And as Annemarie Mol responded, what happens is a shift from the question how do people know disease, into how do they/we live with it.
Maybe substituting disease for research would also be useful?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My mobile killed my....

Following two days of wired stories on cellphone, five gadgets the cell phone killed, then seven more... Here is my list:
alarm clock, wristwatch, calculator, locator, phonebook, the memory part of my brain that kept phone numbers, camera, torch ...the space in my kitchen drawer where old gadgets go to die...

The quality of music means it hasnt killed my ipod/mp3player player yet, nor that it records interviews of sufficient duration for my studies, but thats coz its not an iphone.
It hasnt meant the death of my landline yet either, but I dont know why. Stuck in a timewarp i think.
It hasnt killed my book of maps, but thats only because its not an iphone with navman applications.

Please, before i let it consumes more of my world, can they make the font size bigger?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A dingo ate my homework. CCK08

I'm maintaining a tenuous connection with CCK08. A spatial shift to the other side of the Tasman, and the end of semester tying up of loose ends in an academic institution left me somewhat distracted.
A (belated)second short paper for CCK08

Actor-network theory, connectivism and education
As an educator informed by both Actor-network theory and connectivist learning theory my approach to teaching and learning is shaped within a network. The challenge becomes how to create opportunities for the freedom to learn within mainstream education. It's not Ok in a University course, or at least not in a stage 1 paper, to set no learning outcomes, to leave the assessment criteria open ended, or to allow students to self select their areas of interest. However, accommodations are possible. This paper therefore looks at the role of educator as one who negotiates possibilities with students.

In negotiating possibilities I am assuming a student group who have sufficient maturity to anticipate consequences for setting learning goals and establishing endpoints and time frames. A framework for such a role could be that of agile project development. (I am bemused by the prospect of having 5 minute standing meetings.)

In philosophising education the purpose of that education needs to be considered. I do students a mis-service if I neglect the reasons they enroll in a course. Expectations of outcomes may not sit well with a connectivism learning approach. How to make learning happen within a constrained time frame? How to relate to curriculum content when this needs to be aligned with other connections within a network. In the area I teach, professional education has a significant part of the curriculum prescribed by registering bodies. The measure of success may well include obedience to learning skills deemed essential by others. While this does not sit well with the freedoms of education espoused by a connectivist learning approach, it may be possible to negotiate possibilities that still meet these requirements.

In utilising frameworks informed by Actor- network theory, I would add to the teachers role negotiating power. The lecturer is involved not only in student- lecturer interactions but also in negotiating the connections to both internal and external bodies where power and control have influence. As expressed in a paper by Stephen Fox (2000) on ANT, Foucault and Communities of practice, the strength or force of such connections, can be considerable. It is not just that the connections exist, at times the weight or force brought to bear can be considerable. However, an ANT informed approach is a reminder that this can always be otherwise; it takes work to maintain a network's specific shape or configuration and alterations can occur in a multitude of ways. Such a weight is unlikely to be malleable to a students concerted effort to effect change, but the role of a lecturer may well be in reshaping what makes this possible.

In this analysis I point to changing emphasis in teaching roles. The teaching is not too dissimilar to approaches I have previously enjoyed inside of a student-centred approach. However historical roadblocks remain evident in such approaches; the academy manufactures timelines of study that are finite, the curriculum is most often prescribed. However such roadblocks are not insurmountable. A networked understanding of learning is also about finding that networks currently configured might also be otherwise. Times of change permit reformulations of existing viewpoints. John Heron (1999) when describing techniques of the soft-revolution, talks of how there are cracks within the walls of even the most serious of institutions where a seed might germinate. Taking this opportunity to rethink "what could be" I am more aware of the role of educator that extends outside of classrooms and lecture theatres. The role becomes one that may spend time on reconfiguring the academy and or of professional registration boards. Or at least of challenging the constraints that one finds in the bureaucracy of academia. In this regard, an ANT analysis may well be useful to future planning for connectivism as a theory guiding educational practices. Informed by ANT an approach to sustainable change using appreciative and iterative approaches may be possible.


Fox, S. (2000). Communities Of Practice, Foucault And Actor-Network Theory. Journal of Management Studies, Volume 37, Number 6, September 2000 , pp. 853-868(16)
Haxell, A. (2008). Appreciative and iterative change. Retrieved 18 November 2008, from
Heron, J. (1999). The complete facilitator's handbook. London; Kogan Page.
N.A. (2008). Agile software development. Retrieved 18 November 2008 from

Monday, November 17, 2008

up close and personal, intimate relations with my blog

My blog seems to want me to get up close and personal; to get inside the blackbox and learn about its internal functions involving html code intimate like. I dont have the time for this level of intimacy.
Is my relationship in danger?
Seems i have developed a rash, of white stripe proportions.
Hope its not fatal.
Meantime i have been reading Donna Haraway,in NewScientist 21 June 2008 on an interview called the age of entanglement.... suppose the world doesnt revolve around huumans but that we are just part of a network of relationships, between...well almost anything.

to be human is always to be in a relationship with a host of others: plants, animals, humans dead living, fantasised.To be on earth is to be in a companion-species relationship in the sense of coming into being with a crowd of others, and in the sense that we shape and reshape each other into what we are.

Seems my blog wants me to spend more time with it. Am I up for this level of committment?
I am bemused by her comments on curiosity, she says that she "doesnt think its possible to be a serious person in this world without a major committment to curiosity and where it leads, but curiosity is not a nice virtue - and it never leads to innocence."
Am I ready for a loss of innocence?


One of my favourite authors in ANT, Annemarie Mol, has philosophized the logic of care vs the logic of choice. In on from my lamenting the loss of empathy, her writing supports the need for a focus on care and kindness. "over the years many books and articles have shown that all too often in healthcare practices there is just not enough kindness to go round. At the same time, 'kind' professionals find it difficult not to suffer too much along with their patients." She cites Arthur Frank in a plea for generosity on the part of professionals and patients. In an ANT analysis I am taking this further, the generosity also comes to academic committees deciding what is/isnt in course.
In other writing of hers, this network effect is also considered; where in the flow of a networked relationship does subjectivity start and stop? In her playful writing "I eat an apple. On theorizing subjectivities" she cites Donna Haraway with regard to humans and their relating with others, and then extends this to consider in the eating of an apple, that the apple becomes in part, her and she, the apple. The boundaries shift and even when invisible, the apple is still being metabolised, still present but reshaped.

"In the orchard, the apples. The trees carefully grafted. The colours and textures and tastes and cellar life attended to and the best fruit selected. And again. Without the work of ever so many generations of cultivators my apple would not have been. The cultivators, meanwhile, owed their lives to their apples. When and where in all these flows does subjectivity emerge? Where to stop the flow and point at it?"

In considering empathy, where in the flow do I point and say, here it occurs? Here there is responsibility. Here change can happen.
As Annemarie Mol continues she points to practices that appear incompatible, she is writing, typing, talking, not eating. The performances required would clash yet they do occur simultaneously . This reminds me of her writing in the body multiple, when practice is attended to, reality multiplies.
So I'm writing, and am still 'doing empathy'.
But it is a lie. Of course I am not eating an apple, not right now. I write. I am sitting behind a computer and my hands, rather than transporting fruit to my mouth, are moving over the qwerty letters of my keyboard. Writing and eating do not go easily together. With talking it is even worse. The practices implied in doing theory and the practices of eating clash. A body can only do so many things at the same time. But how many and which? In some place that without technical aids nobody can see, hear or smell, the apple that I had with my lunch is right now being digested.12 Is that still eating?

And like Annemarie Mol and Donna Haraway, I position myself in relationship and in relationships that span geographies as well as times. I choose to be visible in my writing and consider subjectivity.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Empathy is apparently in short supply amongst some health professionals (Morse, 2008).
Its also shown in at least two studies to decrease with successive years of study in becoming a health professional (Haslam, 2007).

To feel heard, to have one's own views acknowledged, to matter... these are all critical components for me as a both recipient and provider of health care. And, as Haslam (2007) identifies , empathy leads to:
Higher patient satisfaction
Greater sense of own wellbeing
Greater sense of accomplishment
Increased treatment adherence
Decreased errors and decreased malpractice claims

In my Faculty, a decision has been made to cut the teaching of therapeutic communication skills from the core curriculum all health professional students take. I concede it does not matter that a student health professional knows the name of the skill, more important is that it be used, and rather than learning it in large classes, and it may well be better taught at the bedside; but will it be?
My anxiety increases with this study reporting its not being shown 90% of the time when opportunities are present. So if its not being consciously taught, and what is unconsciously taught is how to ignore opportunities, then use of empathy is likely to reduce further.

“Emotional support has a protective influence on survival....Not only do people want someone who can ‘be there’ and listen to them,
they are physically better off if they have someone to do this.”
James Pennebaker (1988)

Haslam, H. (2007). Humanising the medical profession. MJA 187 (7): 381-382.
Morse,D., Edwardsen, E., and Gordon, H. (2008). Missed Opportunities for Interval Empathy in Lung Cancer Communication. Arch Intern Med.168(17):1853-1858.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Appreciative and iterative change

Nancy White introduced these terms to the CCK08 course this week.
The history of change, as I have read it in introducing technology in the education sector has been anything but.
I have experienced evangelical impositions, directed mandates and technology taught as a separate subject.
In contrast, this approach suggests a thoughtfulness for what has been, and how this might be enhanced, taking small steps with ongoing reconsideration. This also is congruent with what a colleague of mine,Sue, introduced to me - agile software development.
The approach rolls in with a pragmatic style. What works; how this occurs inside of consideration and reconsideration, bringing together the social (people involved) and the material(technologies) concurrently. Seems an adaptive integration, and while Nancy White's understanding of change hasn't deliberately integrated actor-network theory, her approach identifies that the change involves social + technology, and fundamentally this changes how we can be together.
Her use of 'we' suggests she is referring to how this shapes the interactions of people, of teachers, students...
At the same time, this also fosters an approach of change being iterative allowing consideration for what is shaped and what is shaping where the actors are both human and otherwise.

Nancy White's slides:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

reflective writing in research

Plus réflexif que moi, tu meurs
More reflective than me, you die

Like mirrors in the funhouse, the endpoint of multiple mirror regressions is infinite regression...
Latour (1988) denies the capacity for ever gaining distance on one's own work, or for their being more or less credence to be had in being the doer as writer or a writer of the doing...
Texts live in a democracy, each is still a story, not layered, but one among many.
Not inside of one another, but alongside.
No less and no more, just a performance amongst many.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

bad teaching made worse; a fascination of fatal proportions with the machine that goes ping

Technologies according to Ursula Franklin, are 'just the way we do things around here'. So of course they evolve.
The way we do things evolve; sometimes because the purpose shifts, and sometimes because the means shifts.
Sometimes such shifts make what is done, significantly worse.
Bad teaching gets to be so much worse when the teacher relates to the machinery and to no one else.
Sometimes its not so bad that the connections of the electrical/technological/mechanical kind fail. Such failure in the material connections cab be a good thing, because it forces thinking on means as well as ends.
When IT fails, it provokes a reminder to consider 'what are we here for and how might this be done'. As Latour and john Law identify, sometimes its not until things do not run smoothly that the (net)work gets exposed. The work in teaching is about engaging, if this fails, it all fails.

After a series of presentations taking 2 houra on the machine that goes ping, I am truly glad that some of the links did not work when it was my turn. Not only had I decided what i was not going to do, it forced me to consider if blackboxing also happens inside of people's heads, and what it might take to open this up.

On being trapped in a monty python sketch. A shared moment, despite the passing of years and a few hundred kilometres of geography, Tare Brabazon and the person next to me in a lecture theatre both comment on the experience of geing caught in a Monty Python sketch.

Cue the meaning of life; At the 'miracle of birth', the medical administrator remains most impressed by the machine that goes ping rather than the arrival, before his eyes, of new life. Then fast forward with a universal remote - Cue in powerpoint, elluminate, a variation on blackboard with bells, whistles and ping. Repetitive ping.
For further reading I strongly recommend a dose of Tara Brabazon (2002). Digital hemlock. Internet education and the poisoning of teaching. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press Ltd.

Nancy White from CCK08 talk this week:" You can’t usefully apply the technology unless you understand the teaching. Understand the teaching, then look at why it’s important. BUT sometimes looking at the technology first can spark an idea."

In this instance, looking at the technology sparked rethinking purpose.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

together wherever

A technosocial story.
The actors in mobile telephony include those who use as well as those who push.
In the advertising pushing mobile phones in NZ there are two major players. Its not surprising that the service providers will push the product, the contracts generate an ongoing source of income. Seems because of the costs of ongoing services the products can even appear very cheap if not 'free'. And then there are the other persuasive aspects these pushers sell in their advertising.
Vodafone is currently pushing the mobile ph (and contract) as it makes it possible to "take your bestmate with you wherever you go".
The accompanying imagery is a guy about to leave a flat but goes back packing his girlfriend by folding her as if a cardboard construction that folds successively small enough that she/it fits in his pocket.
"Now you can take your world with you when your part of the worlds largest network". His girlfriend then blows him a kiss from the screen of his phone before he puts her back in his pocket.

Or an earlier Vodafone advert had the miniature bestmate popping out of the pocket to share in the experiences to the accompaniment of a song:

Your my friend
and I'll depend
You'll be there forever
dear my friend
these words I penned
for your ears to treasure
oh my friend I'd like to spend
All my time with you together
let me be your second eyes
let me share in your surprize...

voice-over: with vodafone bestmate your together wherever
And the statement;
BestMate ™
Together, Wherever

The opposition also plays on the best friend anywhere anytime concept. Telecom has Kaz, one of their smart toy range- a play on phones as smart toys- saying of her friend, "hi everyone this is totally my best friend Bex, we go everywhere together". And where texting continues while a conversation ensues, and the texting being so available that txting can occur until your paw catches fire.

What the advertising promises is that one need never be alone, your relationship is as far away as your pocket, with you everywhere anytime, available always.
However, it assumes relationships are attractive, going to be positive in the connection and that the connection will be this easy.
What of the need to have the contract, the prepay paid up, be in a region covered by satellites of the service provider, have a ph that is charged, have a best mate who also has a ph charged and paid and in cell ph cover area plus have a memory that's not full if by text, has a mobile ph turned on, as well as being carried with them....And more than this, have a bestmate that's going to be available anywhere anytime, can talk or text, wants to hear, listen and or look and all in a positive way. The ph becomes a part of me and a part of them; always on.
If the service had not already existed, the businesses might have needed to invent it.
Youthline NZ telephone and text counselling- just as well its here, the service providers do well to invest in it.

For the reality is that our friends, mates may not be as available to us or as helpful as the adverts suggest.
Apparently, according to telecom, a cell ph (and a contract with them) provides "everything your household needs to communicate".
Both Telecom and Vodafone go beyond selling product (phones and contracts). They are also attempting to sell dreams. What people might want is not enough, they try to create a demand, and they do this as Mol (2007) states of other advertisements "not with arguments but with seduction".

For example; get this phone, free, on our best ever txter plan....comes with fm radio, mp3 player....roam the web, maps, know where your friends are... what might seduce them into thinking telecom, vodafone will provide is freedom or even love...
"Share the love with a gift from us ( Vodafone NZ, Nov 2008, web banner).
What people want is not enough, a mobile also needs to look appeals to people who want to go anywhere, its fun and its escape, captured.

In real life, relationships include sadness, loneliness and depression and can be distressing. The majority of calls and texts received by counselling agencies such as Youthline are about relationships causing distress.
In advertisements there is seduction and all-time, real-time, availability.
Who can't resist?