PRN: Rising Internet Use Fuels Teen Smartphone Addiction

 The findings are drawn from Intersperience's "Internet on the Move' project which researched mobile internet use across the UK, analysing the behaviour of 1,400 mobile users, including 400 aged between 12 and18.

Persone William Hill, Clients, Paul Hudson, About Intersperience, May
Luoghi Londra, Islanda, Regno Unito, Lake District, Möre
Organizzazioni Lancaster University, General Motors, Samsung
Argomenti internet, software, reti

14/mag/2012 09.30.14 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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Rising Internet Use Fuels Teen Smartphone Addiction


LONDON, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Intersperience reveals impact of 'constant connection' on under-18s 

  • 65% of teen mobile internet users admit to being "addicted" to their mobiles
  • Teens would rather live without TV, Facebook and chocolate than their mobile
  • Research shows loss of mobile would make users agitated, panicked and tearful
  • 70% now use mobile internet daily, up from 58% in 2009

The majority of British teenagers who use mobile internet admit to feeling "addicted" to their smartphones and would rather give up television, Facebook and chocolate than their phone, according to a new study by international consumer research specialist Intersperience.

The study found that mobile addiction is on the rise across all age groups in the UK with almost half (48%) of adults admitting to feeling addicted, compared to 65% of under-18s. The addiction is being fuelled by a communications boom which has seen the percentage of the UK population regularly using mobile internet jump to 38% from just 24% in 2009.

Both teenagers and adults named their mobiles as the number one object or activity they could not live without. Teenagers were more willing to give up Facebook, television and chocolate than their phone while adults would rather live without make-up, alcohol, cigarettes and coffee than their phone. 

The findings are drawn from Intersperience's 'Internet on the Move' project which researched mobile internet use across the UK, analysing the behaviour of 1,400 mobile users, including 400 aged between 12 and18. It is part of a series of research studies into the impact of the digital society on UK consumers.

Smartphone ownership is higher among under-18s (66%) than adults (58%) but the study found that both age groups have strong emotional connections to their phones. Respondents said they would be "agitated", "lost" and  "panic-stricken" and many said they would cry if they lost their mobile.

More teenagers (60%) than adults (48%) would feel agitated if they did not have their smartphone for a full day and teenagers were also more likely to describe themselves as sad, helpless and lonely without their phones.

The study also revealed growing pressure on parents to buy mobiles for children at an earlier age - under-18s think a child should get its first mobile at age 10 to 11 while parents think it should be age 12 to 13.

Intersperience Chief Executive Paul Hudson said: "The rise in smartphone addiction stems largely from a significant increase in the percentage of people regularly using them to access the internet. This is particularly noticeable among under-18s and it is having a marked effect on their behaviour and emotions."

Hudson added: "Three key themes emerged from our research - an increasingly high emotional dependence on mobile internet; the pervasive presence of mobile internet across all aspects of life; and the impact of the communications boom on young teenagers.  Most people regard 18-25 years olds as 'Digital Natives' but we found that 12-18 year olds are an even more 'connected' generation, with 61% of them social networking via mobile every day. As that generation grows up, Britain will be transformed into a nation of 'connected consumers'."

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About Internet on the Move:

Intersperience has conducted wide-ranging research into current use of mobile internet and associated behavioural trends in the UK. Researchers used qualitative and quantitative techniques to build a comprehensive picture of how people use mobile internet, participants mirrored the UK population in terms of social class. The research included responses from 1,400 mobile users, including 1,000 aged 18 to 64 and 400 under-18s. Insights were gleaned from forum comments, polls, brainstorming sessions, diary tasks and smartboards. The research team also conducted 20 in-home interviews with adept smartphone users who completed online diaries relating to their mood when doing different mobile tasks online. The findings outline how mobile internet is influencing behaviour in both a social and commercial context.

About Intersperience:

Intersperience is an international consumer research specialist with expertise in consumer behaviour, experience and attitudes. The team is headquartered in Cumbria and has more than 25 years experience in analysing consumer behaviour. It employs a range of interpretative models and frameworks including a proprietary online research platform. Intersperience has significant global expertise and an international research hub at Lancaster University which conducts research in more than 60 languages as well as associates in major global markets. Intersperience is an expert in how technology impacts on consumer behaviour and multi-channel customer service strategy. Clients include: The British Council; General Motors; Iceland; Samsung; ScottishPower; William Hill.

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