Visual chitchat: The use of camera phones in visual interpersonal communication | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-2681
  • E-ISSN: 1757-269X


Photography and photo sharing nowadays form an important part of mobile phone communication, as evidenced by the rather ubiquitous camera phone. The purpose of the article is to examine how the practices of mobile phone communication influence the sharing of camera phone photographs. In pursuing this goal, the ritual view of communication, formulated by James W. Carey, is utilized as a theoretical framework. According to the ritual view, communication serves in sustaining contact between communicators, without placing importance on the information that is exchanged. The conclusion in the article is that ritual communication is evident in how camera phone photographs are captured and communicated in order to maintain social cohesion among a group or among individuals. In addition to a theoretically oriented analysis, the article utilizes results from a qualitative study focusing on the mobile photo sharing practices of a group of Finnish camera phone users.


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