Friday, August 26, 2005

IDC: Cell Phones a Social Necessity for Teens

In a joint survey with of nearly 8,000 U.S. teens, ages 13 to 18 who use mobile phones, IDC found that cell phones for teens is a social necessity and "35.9% of teens acquired their phones mainly to use text messaging while an additional 13.3% acquired them to talk with friends."

Dana Thorat at IDC said, "Unlike any technology before it, cell phones have become important social catalysts for teenagers. While parents can be rest assured that they can reach their mobile teenagers virtually any place and any time, teens conversely perceive their phones as a means for gaining social acceptance and staying connected with friends."

The study noted usage drivers differed between teen boys and girls.

Girls were more likely than boys to have purchased cell phones in order to call their family or to use in emergency situations, while boys preferred to call their friends. Boys were also more inclined than girls to use text messaging on their cell phones – girls, more than boys, preferred talking directly to their friends over text messaging them.
I would have guessed the opposite on the first point. Obviously, the societal implications of teens with cell phones did not go unnoticed at IDC. The firm noted that "current school policies that require the silencing of cell phone ringers during the school day may already be obsolete – dexterous thumbing on a phone's keypad under a desk is all it takes for seasoned texters to conduct covert conversations with others during class."

While texting has made passing notes in class obsolete, when will the cell phone equivalent of the spitball come to market...