Attending to the mobile text summons: Managing multiple communicative activities across physically copresent and technologically mediated interpersonal interactions

© The Author(s) 2018. This article presents a qualitative investigation of communication practices interactants use to manage mobile phone activity while they are engaged in a copresent conversation. Drawing from conversation analysis and a collection of naturalistic video recordings, our study of mobile phone use in situ focuses on how participants orient to the mobile text summons, the audible chimes or vibrations that indicate the receipt of a text message (or short message service [SMS]). In these moments, interactants must simultaneously manage attending to their phone and the copresent conversation. Our analysis shows how people may use nonverbal and verbal techniques to attend to their mobile phone based on their identity respective to the copresent activity. The study contributes to scholarly understandings of technology use, multitasking, and the management of attention in interpersonal communication.