This article examines the ways in which young men in the city of Inhambane, southern Mozambique, harness communication to express and address experiences of constrained physical and social mobility. It starts with an analysis of a highly valued form of oral communication – bater papo – that youth, especially young men, engage in on a daily basis before turning to mobile phone use. Tying these different forms of communication together is a profound desire to claim membership of, and to participate in, a world that remains elusive for most. However, if mobile phone communication builds on pre-existent forms of communication, it takes on particular aesthetic qualities that speak of, rather than resolve, exclusion. The article argues that, while helping bridge distances in significant ways, mobile phone communication nonetheless, and somewhat ironically, also betrays young men's immobility.