Chapter Four

When the first iPhone hit the U.S. stores on 9 June 2007, it cost $500. Yet six million units were sold before the next model arrived. Eight years later, in 2015, a total of 1.4 billion smartphones were in the hands of users scattered across the globe.1 That same year, the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication2 published a study in which a group of iPhone users were asked to complete word puzzles. During the exercise, research assistants called their personal phones at erratic intervals and for a varying number of rings; the users could hear their phones ring but were prevented from answering. The objective was to measure whether and to what extent anxiety levels were triggered when someone is blocked from answering a ringing ...

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