Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

The Blackberry Image: Self-identified Perceptions and Motivations Associated with College Student BlackBerry Use

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2012

Journal Title

Educational Media International

Volume

49

Issue

1

First Page

19

Last Page

32

Abstract

We report the results of a qualitative research study conducted with university students regarding their phenomenological perspectives of BlackBerry use. Three key themes inductively emerged throughout the interview and analysis process regarding self-perceptions college students reported regarding their own BlackBerry use. First, students offered practical motivations that influenced their decisions to purchase and use BlackBerrys, including the relatively convenient and instant access to email and Internet that BlackBerry offers. Second, all students in our study intentionally compared and contrasted their own BlackBerrys with competing Apple products on the market, specifically the iPhone. In comparison with the iPhone, BlackBerry users in our sample viewed their own phones as only moderately ‘cool’ or prestigious. Additionally, BlackBerry users also seemed to view their phones as less technologically advanced than iPhone technology. Third, students reported particular images they associated with BlackBerry use. These included both a financial ‘stigma’ as well as that of a ‘business person’ stereotype.

Keywords

BlackBerry, qualitative research, smartphones, social influences, iPhone

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