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Most 10-year-olds now packing mobiles

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“A generation ago, an 11 or 12-year-old who lost their bus money would have used their own resources to sort it out - now they simply call their parents”

The info comes from Carphone Warehouse's Mobile Life survey, based on interviews with over 16,500 people in the UK on how they use and perceive mobile communications.

The plethora of information contained in the report is somewhat overwhelming, but Mobile Life also provides some analysis from industry luminaries including Dr. Pat Spungin from raisingkids.co.uk:

With 51 per cent of 10-year-olds now in possession of a mobile phone, a figure which rises to 91 per cent for 12-year-olds, parents trying to hold out against the technology are at risk of socially excluding their offspring, while those who give in leave themselves with an umbilical connection which can be hard to break.

Just over 80 per cent of parents are happy to track their children without their permission, but as Dr. Spungin points out: that’s only going to work once, and when the child finds out they are unlikely be amused.

But it’s not all bad: 75 per cent of people, including youth, think it’s unreasonable to chat on the phone during a family dinner, and one in three dads need the children to help them use their handset, though we have to assume only when they’ve finished programming the video.

As the children grow up the phone is central to their relationships, with over half making dates by phone, and the same number sending or receiving sexually explicit messages. Almost two thirds of under-25s have more than 50 numbers in their phone address book, but only 25 per cent of the same age group communicates with more than 10 people regularly, which makes you wonder what the other 40 are doing in there.

Only 14 per cent of people turn off their phone during sex; the rest presumably too distracted at the time, and when it comes to the morning after 20 per cent of under-25s admit to ending a relationship by text message.

The survey also found 14 per cent of those asked have more than one phone they use regularly, while 25 per cent of the under-24s are using those phones to keep in touch with someone they don’t want their partner to know about. But they should be careful: 5 per cent think it’s OK to track a partner using their phone; without permission. 5 per cent might seem a small number, but it means that one in 10 of you could find yourself being tracked without knowing it.

Meanwhile 54 per cent of women are avoiding the whole relationship thing by using their mobiles to avoid talking to strangers, and 53 per cent of them feel safer if they are out and about with their mobile: hopefully not being mugged for the handset.

Even the older generation is getting in on the act with over half of over-60s using text messaging daily, and around half of grandmothers believing mobile phones strengthen family bonds.

For the interested the whole survey is available for download, along with the analysis and many more statistics.®

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