Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The umbilical mobile

Carphone Warehouse has produced an interesting survey of the impact of mobile phones on young people's lives. It's worth reading the short comment piece on page 27 by Dr Pat Spungin, who gives the 83% of parents who say they would use their children's mobiles to track them without consent pretty short shrift, and concludes:

"in our child-centric society the mobile phone keeps parents and children bonded in both senses of the word. It builds relationships by maintaining regular communication but it also ties the child to the parent and vice versa. Sooner or later children have to break free and take responsibility for their own actions and sort out their everyday problems.

"Breaking free also means shifting from total allegiance to family to bring in new allegiances to the peer group. Paradoxically, parents see the mobile phone as a way of retaining parental control while children are using it to build their peer group relationships out of the reach of interfering parents."

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