Missed Calls: Barcelona and Los Angeles compared

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2012.  Missed Calls: Barcelona and Los Angeles compared. Technology & Emerging Media Track – Annual Conference of the Canadian Communication Association (Waterloo, May 30 -June 1, 2012). , Watterloo, Ontario: Canadian Communication Association


I discuss the phenomenon of missed calls and their intentional use by older mobile phone users in two different locations: Barcelona and Los Angeles. Deliberate missed calls (DMC) are made, with the intention that the receiver is not to answer them. They appeared as an innovative, low-cost communication practice. They constitute a limited form of communication, compared to voice calls, as there is no feedback from the receiver and, therefore, more uncertainty is involved. While youth, teenagers and children have been the main focus of scholarly attention in this field in developed countries, few studies have focused on elders. To address this absence, this paper explores the use of missed calls amongst senior individuals (60 years old and over). I describe the main purpose of this practice, the context in which it is used and the motivations for using it. The main conclusion is that elders communicate by means of missed calls if younger generations in their society do.


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