Tele-cocooning : Mobile texting and social scope

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-694
Journal / PublicationJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number3
Online published1 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


The present study examines the tele-cocooning hypothesis in the context of general trust using a nationally representative survey of Japanese youth. We find that although frequency of texting is positively correlated with general trust, this correlation is spuriously caused by how heavy mobile texters interpret the words "most people" in the general trust measurement. Heavy users assume that "most people" only refers to friends, family, and others going to the same school. When the effect of the "most people" assumption is controlled, the positive association between texting and general trust disappears. Further exploration of the data shows that heavy texting nevertheless has negative implications for social tolerance and social caution, both of which are theoretically proximate to general trust. © 2014 International Communication Association.

Research Area(s)

  • General trust, Mobile communication, Mobile texting, Social scope, Tele-cocooning