Corporate data collectors track every move you make on the electronic landscape, recording your m-commerce phone habits only to sell them back to you through advertising that entices you to spend more. Think of these phones as a kind of remote-controlled radio collar—like the ones scientists use to monitor the behaviour of the animals they study.
The move toward mobile commerce, or m-commerce, still nascent in North America, is an attempt to create a worldwide datastructure built on the premise of consumption. The habit@ is the electronic environment—and the sociocultural conditions—of the wireless and worldwide webs (W4 and W3). Within it, “The structures constitutive of a particular type of environment … produce habitus
, systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures” (Bourdieu, 1977, p. 72; 1990). These structures are the invisible data collection mechanisms that track user habits through the data flows of electronic identity formation, and sell these habits back to the user in the form of “push” advertising.2
“There is no fixed self, only the habit of looking for one” (Wise, 2000, p. 303), and this habit of looking is our habit@on-line. The wireless habit@ is constituted in the patterns of our mobile browsing behavior, which is in turn repackaged and re-presented as a demographic representation of how we will engage the spending process, how we will actualize ourselves as desiring-machines (Deleuze and Guattari, 1983). The habit@ is becoming the marker of social distinction.