Mobilology & Mocio-economics

Ralph Simon coined the words Mociology (a combination of the words ‘mobile’ and ‘sociology’) and the corollary, Mocio-economics, in an attempt to examine the effects of mobile phone usage on human behavior, society and lifestyle in the 21st century. By 2009, the original terms had morphed into the more readily understood combined term Mobilology – the study of mobile – and its definition has expanded to address the wide-reaching effects of mobile phone usage as they relate to human behavior, community, culture, entertainment, and global economics.

Simon formally espoused and introduced Mociology on November 7, 2005, at a lecture delivered to over 200 attendees at London’s Royal Society for the (encouragement of)Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in its historic Great Hall. The lecture was titled: Mociology – Mobile Technology and Culture Change: How Mociology and Mocio-Economics Are Changing the Way We Live. 

When asked how he came up with the idea for this new impact discipline, he said, “Human connectivity and the need for linkage across all aspects of daily behaviors, interactions and people-to-people exchanges have fuelled the demand for lifestyles that are not tethered to a PC or computer system. The pressures and pleasures of daily living, and the increasing time famine prevalent in daily life, have made mobile usage. mobile technology and the very mobile interaction itself, the catalyst for an important new academic, commercial and inter-personal discipline.”

Today, Mobilology addresses the ways consumers personalize their wireless and mobile lifestyles, how they use their mobile technology to innovate their self-expression, and how they use their mobile phones and devices to facilitate increasingly mobile lifestyles.

Other examples include using the mobile device as an extension of one’s Internet and “buddy communities;” receiving weather reports and market trading conditions for farmers and agricultural communities by mobile phone; viewing movie trailers, TV clips and programs and accessing sporting events on mobile phones; ticketing and paying for entertainment and sporting events by mobile devices; transmitting medical information to/from diabetes patients by mobile phone; disseminating HIV/AIDS education on mobile devices to beleaguered communities in developing countries; downloading music on mobile phones as a counterbalance to various music services such as iTunes; paying credit card bills via mobile phones; and finding romance.

Driving the adoption of new forms of Mobilology are the over 6,000,000,000 (billion) mobile phone users worldwide, and the exponential increase in the ways that mobile phone users demand interactivity from their handheld devices. With mobile phone usage exploding in China, Russia, Brazil, India, Africa and Latin and South America, and with mobile phone penetration approaching 80% or more in developed countries, Mobilology and the study of the different impact points in modern life have hastened the need for a deep body of knowledge in this fast-emerging field.

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