The Sociology of the Mobile Phone

A fascinating research report (April 2006) by Hans Geser of Zurich University on the use of mobile phones by pre-teens suggesting that they make a bigger impact on behaviour than previously thought and some surprising male-female usage differences.


For example, definite evidence that the earlier they get their phones the more active users they become throughout later life, two thirds of pre-teens dont turn off their phone while they sleep, the surprisingly large size of their mobile social networks and the total inability of many of them to leave the house without their handsets.

Pre-teen cell phone adoption: consequences for later patterns of phone usage and involvement

The report concludes:

First of all, we see very strong behavioral impacts manifested in heavier subsequent inbound and outbound usage of the mobile phone for oral calls as well as for text messages as well as in an increased passive availability for phone contacts during nights. Astonishingly, such long-term "sleeper effects" on usage intensity are much stronger for males than for females.

Secondly, there are persisting consequences on the social level: causing early adopters to have wider networks of active phone partners even seven or eight years after first usage. This effect is also more pronounced among males.

Thirdly, parallel effects on the attitudinal level can be observed. Thus, early adopters show higher subjective involvements with the new technology by asserting that they cannot imagine life without mobile handsets and that they consider it as an essential part of their "style of life", or that mobile communication has improved substantially their social life. In contrast to the behavioral and social aspects, both genders are similarly affected by such psychological correlates.

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Mohit (Max) Bhanabhai

Now I have read a book about Men from Mars and Women from Venus which I guess captures the 'quintessential delineation' of the female and male species and their overall communication framework - BUT - whats important to appreciate is that as society and technology continue to rise on an exponential trajectory; your mobile phone will be as important as a drivers license.

I am quite an active blogger and have blogged here on - but I would like to draw attention to this article on MY blog:

* ALTHOUGH my article has a strong 'social network bias' - social networking these days are all done on mobile devices. Tomi Ahonen's book recently quoted that total subscibers 'worldwide' that can recieve SMS ~ 3.2 billion; NOW - that is before the iphone took full market disruption.
* People will benefit IF companies listen to them and the RIGHT messages are delivered to the right people to help improve the overall spectrum of customer service and commercial business!


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