Back from the Beach but Hanging on the Telephone? English Adolescents' Attitudes and Experiences of Mobile Phones and the Internet

Madell, Dominic; Muncer, Steven
June 2004
CyberPsychology & Behavior;Jun2004, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p359
Academic Journal
Recently, a number of commentators have suggested that growth in use of the Internet may be slowing, 1–3 and its impact may have been exaggerated. 4 However, a disproportionate number of the nonusers tend to be those over the age of 50, and the young are most likely to go online eventually. 5 Therefore, the most appropriate people to survey with regard to Internet use are adolescents and young adults who are likely to be the Internet users or nonusers of the future. This survey was conducted to find out more about the activities and opinions of secondary-school aged children who do, and do not, use the Internet. Mobile phone use was also examined in this survey as this has also shown a meteoric rise in adults and more particularly in young people. 6 Generally, the survey revealed that children aged between 11 and 16 years old are quite comfortable with the Internet, use it a moderate amount and for a variety of purposes. However, boys were more likely to use the Internet than girls and sometimes for slightly different purposes. Reasons for not using the Internet generally revolved around a lack of access to equipment. Furthermore, a higher percentage of adolescents have mobile phones than adults and girls are more likely to own a mobile phone than boys. Mobile phones were also used for a variety of purposes, most notably making and receiving calls and text-messaging. The most common reasons for children not owning a mobile phone was because they had no need for one. Finally, a significant positive relationship between the use of emails and text messaging suggests that the mobile phone may supplement some of the previous functions of the Internet.


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