some time ago, anastasia goodstein posted about a recent study of teenagers and cell phones on her ypulse blog. she has a particularly important, i think, insight in her opening paragraph (bold added below):
We’ve often heard teens say [melodramatically], “I can’t live without my cell phone.” A new study from OTX and eCRUSH helps to explain that it’s not the bells and whistles like music or video on their phones they would miss the most, it’s that cell phones have become their primary way of staying connected to friends and family. What’s important to remember about teens and technology, is that while teens may become heavier users of new technology before the rest of the population, they’re not “early adopters” meaning most teens aren’t geeking out over features. Instead they are embracing tech that meets their needs for portability and constant communication.
highlights of the study, according to anastasia:
– A majority of teens cited reasons such as ‘convenience of being able to communicate from anywhere (77%)’ and ‘security of being able to reach family (75%)’ as major benefits.
– Much lower on the list were friends’ admiration of their cell phone features (41%) or look (39%).
– When asked specifically how cell phones made them ‘feel’, teens again opted for connectivity with friends (71%), connectivity with family (63%) and being responsible (61%), over important (31%), fashionable (30%), or trendy (27%)
– 51% of teens said they “absolutely could not live without” their cell phones
– When teens were asked about the mobile phone features they have and use, text messaging was overwhelmingly cited as the feature they use most (72%), followed by the ability to customize wall paper (72%), take digital pictures (63%), and play games which come with the phone (56%)
– Much lower on the list was downloading music (36%), and downloading videos (22%)
– Text messaging was also cited as the feature teens want most (among those that don’t have this feature), well ahead of taking digital pictures, downloading music, or using an instant messenger program
– 41% of teens surveyed have video downloading capability on their cell phones and approximately half of those teens are actually downloading and viewing videos.
– Among these teens, music videos are the most watched type (67%), followed by user generated content (27%), full length TV shows (24%) and clips from TV shows (24%). 31% of teens who watch video on their cell phones also reported that their consumption of TV, DVDs, and movies has not decreased