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Technology-aided ubiquity and instantaneity have emerged as major goals of most information technology providers and of certain classes of users such as “road warriors”. New mobile technologies promise genie-in-a-bottle type near-magical qualities with anytime, anywhere access to information and services. While the complex science, systems, and economics of such technologies receive considerable attention from industry executives and researchers, the social and cultural aspects of these technologies attract less attention. This paper explores the oft-contradictory promises and pitfalls of anytime, anywhere technologies from a cultural standpoint. It makes suggestions for reinterpreting these technologies for greater human good.

Publisher Statement

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Telematics and Informatics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Telematics and Informatics, vol. 21, no. 2 (May 2004), DOI: 10.1016/S0736-5853(03)00052-2.