Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone in 1876 revolutionised the way we communicate with one another by using a landline phone. Though this study discusses the use of this phone by the Maltese, its main focus is a later modification to Bell's invention, namely, the mobile phone that has become ubiquitous in many countries in the world. This monograph addresses sociolinguistic issues arising from the use of fixed and mobile lines by the inhabitants of Malta. Topics that are discussed include: telephone conversational openings and how the Maltese identify themselves when answering the phone; whether they are aware of sociolinguistic conventions as to who should terminate a telephone conversation.? Are there differences when the Maltese use the fixed line as compared to the mobile? Other aspects that are discussed regard telephone etiquette. How do the Maltese react when they are phoned early in the morning, during siesta time or late at night? What are appropriate times of the day for phoning? Which places do the Maltese consider that mobile phones be banned? Are there differences in telephone call duration on fixed and mobile line phones?
Do females talk more than males on the phone? What is the role of teenagers in the high penetration levels of mobile phones? Why do they prefer phoning others on the mobile rather than on the fixed line? How popular is the use of text messages among the Maltese and how long are they ready to wait for an answer to their urgent and/or not so urgent SMS message? Although the context in which the fieldwork has been conducted is Malta, Keeping in Touch is set in an international framework and provides a very interesting laboratory-like case study of the influence of mobile telephony in a small island state, simultaneously a macrocosm and a microcosm. It seeks to contribute to the development of knowledge in the field of inter-human communication through one of the latest, but very fast diffused technological advancement.