Teens and pre-teens increase cell phone use during the summer

When school’s out, children and teenagers are increasingly to be found using their mobile phone, according to a new Disney Mobile Cell and Tell survey by Harris Interactive.

Teen and tween cell phone use in the summer jumps to more than 3 hours and 45 minutes a day, an increase of more than an hour a day as compared with a normal school day.

The Disney Mobile Cell and Tell survey of more than 1,500 cell phone users 10-17 years-old found that teens and tweens like their cell phones perhaps more than other luxuries in their lives. If they had to choose between their phone or something else:

  • One-third would give up listening to the radio, playing video games, or going to the mall
  • Nearly one quarter would give up their MP3 players
  • One in five would give up TV

When it comes to cell phone etiquette, just like in life, teens often say one thing and do another. According to the survey, even though nine out of ten teens and tweens think they are polite and respectful when using a cell phone, 65 percent admit to using the phone during school hours, while 58 percent of teens and tweens who use the text messaging function admit to doing so during class. One in five teen and tween cell phone owners said they can live without their cell phone, despite the fact they use it two hours or more every day.

The Disney Mobile Cell and Tell survey found that teens and tweens like to stay in touch with family and friends everywhere they go, with a whopping 96 percent touching base with their parents on a daily basis via cell phone, while 20 percent use it to touch base with their parents at least five times a day.
The survey also found that nearly half of respondents (44 percent) use text messages as their primary form of communication. The texting ranges from sending messages while at the movies (52 percent of respondents) and the dinner table (28 percent), to using text messages to ask someone out on a date (14 percent of respondents), or even to breaking up with someone, with seven percent of respondents admitting to doing so. Twenty-six (26) percent of teens and tween respondents say they check for a text message or send one less than ten minutes after waking up in the morning.

When it comes to good news, respondents said that they call mom first (40 percent), followed by their best friend (32 percent). Although they’re calling friends and family with good news, respondents said that they wouldn’t mind receiving a call or two from a celebrity in return. Chris Brown (26 percent) and Orlando Bloom (20 percent) were the top male celebrities that teens and tweens wanted to receive a cell phone call from, while Raven (26 percent) and Jessica Simpson (18 percent) topped the female celebrity charts.