Rika (32 years old) works as a flight attendant and lives in a commuter town about an hour by train from Tokyo. Rika’s only family is her 72 year-old mother who lives alone, just a stone’s throw from Rika’s apartment. Rika often leaves for work early in the morning and returns home late at night and their separate living arrangements reflect their wish to respect each other’s different schedules.
After Rika graduated from university, a mobile phone was of growing importance in communicating with her mother because she started to fly around the world as a flight attendant. Up until two years ago she used to SMS her mother when she was abroad, which cost one dollar per message from anywhere in the world After she bought a Galaxy smartphone for herself and a tablet PC for her mother they started to use Facebook and LINE instead of SMS. Rika bought her mother a tablet PC with a large screen, not a smart phone, because it is easier for her elderly mother to use. Rika always gives her mother the tablet PC fully charged before she leaves Japan. She often does a “check-in” on Facebook when she travels abroad on business to let her mother know where she is. Her mother does not have a Facebook account so Rika keeps her own Facebook account logged in on the tablet PC, and gives it to her mother so that she can check Rika’s timeline with ease. In the past she used to give her mother a paper copy of her itinerary but now it has changed to Facebook “check-in”s.