This study looks at how the Mobile Revolution has promoted networked individualism – connectivity that is not bound up in solidary groups. Mobile phones have played a key role in the developed world’s transformation from group-bound societies to networked societies in which people move among sparsely knit networks of diverse others. The authors wonder how Romeo and Juliet’s situation would have differed with access to mobile technology affording personal communication rather than the household-centered communication of the Montagues and the Capulets. Nowadays, Juliet would routinely text or call Romeo. There is little doubt that in their case the course of true love would have been more connected, it is possible they might have lived happily ever after.
How did the absence of mobile phones affect the romantic life and death of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? The difference in their situation would have been part of the social change to networked individualism from group-based societies. The Mobile Revolution would have afforded personal communication rather than the household-centered communication of the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo and Juliet would have been always available to each other, instead of wondering where the other might be. Location-aware apps would have plotted their whereabouts. The course of true love would have been more connected.
Barry Wellman, & Lee Rainie (2013). If Romeo and Juliet had mobile phones Mobile Media & Communication, 1 (1) : 10.1177/2050157912459505