This term was coined by the British academic Dr Sadie Plant in a report, On The Mobile, which she wrote for Motorola in 2001 about the effect that the widespread use of mobile telephones was having on social and individual life around the world. In the report she coined a number of terms to describe aspects of such use, of which this one has gained some limited currency.
She set out the context like this: “Loose arrangements can be made in the knowledge that they can be firmed up at a later stage; people can be forewarned about late or early arrivals; meetings can be progressively refined. But this kind of flexibility — we can call it approximeeting — can also engender a new sense of insecurity. Everything is virtual until the parties and the places come together to make it real.”
This has now become a common way for young people in particular to meet and socialise and it reflects a small but significant shift in social behaviour that’s due entirely to the ubiquity of mobiles.
More and more with cellphone users, those plans are what British cultural studies professor Sadie Plant calls “approximeeting,” where a group of friends agree to head to a general location (say, a mall) and then coordinate exactly where to meet by cellphone as everyone starts showing up.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 7 Mar. 2004
The large groups of teenagers we see on the square, he says, will have converged here by making shifting arrangements to meet via mobile phone — so-called approximeeting.
Guardian, 26 Nov. 2005
Page created 10 Dec. 2005
Support World Wide Words and keep this site alive.
Donate by selecting your currency and clicking the button.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select a site and click Go!