Home, front, and mobile phones: The case of the Second Lebanon War
Keywords:New Media & War
This paper deals with the cellphone’s role in the Second Lebanon War. Via in-depth interviews (N=20) with officers and combat soldiers, the study shows how soldiers’ cellular devices served a range of objectives: military, personal documentary, communication with home and family, and updating the home front and other battle sectors. On the military level, cellular enables the generation of the “cellular buddy” phenomenon, or the ability to consult with extra-organizational parties — such as friends who are former senior officers — which led to impeding the army’s internal chain of command. On the personal-experiential level, this section presents the “availability conflict” that the soldiers described, between their desire to be in touch with home during the war and the high price thereof. Full-time availability and the lack of ability to disconnect “brings” the home front, the home, and the family directly to the battlefield, thus affecting the soldiers’ already-complex experiential and mental state.
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