A mobile love affair worth losing sleep over By Rebecca Allison British teenagers may lack the
same level of technology as their Japanese counterparts, but their love affair
with the mobile phone is just as intense.
The impact has also advanced since a 2001 study found that nine out of 10
children aged 11 to 16 owned a handset and one in 10 used it more than 45
minutes a day.
Ring tones, text messaging, picture phones and mobile gaming are all popular
topics of playground conversation.
Genuine pieces of music are now eclipsing the polyphonic ring tones that often
render popular songs unrecognisable.
Over the past three years games have also become a lot more sophisticated than
Snake, where the player controls a blob-eating reptile using the phone's dial
keys. Those with the right phone can now play mobile versions of Tomb Raider.
The craze for picture phones has also been partly led by young people who are
using them as portable photo albums as well as for picture messaging.
A recent survey of 2500 teenagers found that text messages broke the sleep of
most adolescents and up to 20 per cent said they were woken regularly by friends
texting late at night.
Bullies have also made use of texting. Statistics published last year showed
that a quarter of young people had been threatened via their computer or mobile
and 16 per cent had suffered text bullying.