Overall it was found that a staggering 1 in 3 people would not give up their mobile phone for a million pounds or more, with women leading the way on those most likely to refuse. Among the 16-24 year old group 22% would want more than a million pounds to sacrifice their phone, compared to an average of 16 %. All the money in the world wouldn’t persuade a further 16% with them saying they wouldn’t give it up for any price.
Mobile Phones Become a Social Requirement
76% of those questioned feel that ‘it is now a social requirement to have a mobile phone’. Those aged 16-24 are pioneering the notion that being contactable at any time is a must in today’s society; an overwhelming 92% agreed with the statement. Although once seen a techie gadget for men, the rise of fashion phones has made women more likely to agree that mobile phones are a social requirement, at 81% compared with 71% of men.
Mobiles Decrease the Younger Generations’ Quality of Life
Approximately 1 in 5 (20%) of young adults aged between16-24 feel that a mobile phone decreases their quality of life. Overall 18% of people think that owning a mobile phone has a negative effect on their quality of life, with the most common reasons cited being ‘work can contact you anytime’, followed by people leaving arrangements until the last minute and mobiles making people a target for crime.
Mobile Phones Essential for Maintaining Quality of Life
Overall almost two thirds of those questioned (63%) believe that a mobile phone is ‘vital to maintaining their quality of life.’ This figure rises to 77% amongst those aged 16-24. In stark contrast, under half (48%) of those aged over 55 agreed with the statement. The Welsh also stand out as being the nation least likely to agree the mobile phone is vital to maintaining quality of life (56% compared with the 63% average).
Techie Teens and Dirty Thirties
The research has shown that almost a third (30%) of young adults aged between16-24 would prefer, if given the choice, to give up sex, chocolate, alcohol and hot drinks than their mobile phone. In comparison, an overwhelming 28% of those aged 25-34 singled sex out as the one thing they wouldn’t want to give up for a month.
Generation Tea Drinkers
Britain’s older generation have proven their love affair with tea and coffee, with an overwhelming percentage stating if given the choice they would refuse to give up hot drinks for one month over sex, chocolate, alcohol and even their mobile phones. 55–64 year olds came in at an unbelievable 46%, with alcohol not even coming close at 13%.
The ethnographic experiment was filmed by participants in video diary format, revealing the effects of their experiences; feelings ranging from absolute freedom to lack of control. It became clear that living without a mobile phone affects people in different ways. Some felt lost, isolated and frustrated, whereas others felt free from life’s pressures. For example, a busy lawyer who relied on his mobile phone was inspired by his new-found freedom. By contrast, a technophobe who took part in the study was surprised by how much he relied on his phone. The footage can be viewed online at www.mobilelife2007.co.uk.
Some first-hand experiences from the Mobile Life ethnographic video diary experiment:
- Christopher Roberts, 33 years old from Cardiff: “I usually use the calculator on my mobile, so without it I spent the best part of 20 minutes trying to find the calculator at work, which was a real waste of time and really, really annoying.”
- Joanne Armstrong, 22 years old from Newcastle: “It seems stupid why people wouldn’t have a mobile phone, you don’t have to have it turned on it’s just is easier to have that connection with the world.”
- Tracey Williams, 33 years old from Cardiff: “It has shown me how much I actually rely on my phone, to the point of not going out of the house when I didn’t have it.”
- Andrew Findley, 28 years old from Newcastle: “It stops people ringing when they have arranged to meet to say they are going to be late – they feel much more duty bound when they know you don’t have a mobile phone to actually bother their backside to get there on time.”
- Lorenza McBeth, 49 years old from Glasgow: “I’ve really enjoyed not being interrupted by my mobile phone today. I feel that I’ve done a lot, I’ve read a lot, more than I would normally do.”
“The results of both the survey and ethnographic video diaries for Mobile Life highlight the complex relationships that people have with their mobile phones – feelings of choice versus control. We are committed to understanding the needs of our customers and these findings provide a unique and valuable insight that previously we have not had access to; for example appreciating the simplest of things like how much people rely on the different functions of a phone in their everyday life.” said Tristia Clarke, Group Marketing Director, The Carphone Warehouse Group plc.
You can download the report from www.mobilelife2007.co.uk