Teens: I'd Die without My Cell Phone

CTIA and Harris Interactive released findings last week, in connection with the San Francisco CTIA event, about US teens' attitudes toward cellphones and their mobile lifestyles: "Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged." The online survey sample consisted of 2,089 teenagers across the US who have cell phones. Respondents were between the ages of 13 and 19. The press materials point out that "this is the first generation to grow up in a mobile world since the first commercial cell phone service was activated on October 13th, 1983."

Here are some of the data from the survey (all charts, except where stated, are from the executive summary prepared by CTIA):

Things teens like about text messaging (top 3):

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Mobile Internet content types accessed via cellphone:

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The 28% figure above is consistent with the relatively high 29% mobile Internet access figure we found in our consumer research on US adult mobile subscribers.

Frequency of mobile social networking visits:
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In an earlier Opus survey (n=1022), we found that only 6% of adults had accessed a social networking site on their mobile phones. It makes sense that a higher number of teens are visiting social networking sites on their mobile devices, given that social networks are heavily populated with younger users. Still, 81% had not in the Harris-CTIA Survey. We anticipate that social networking will become a significant category for mobile users -- over time. 

Teen receptiveness to mobile advertising and areas of interest:

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In our most recent LMS survey of mobile consumers we found surpsingly strong receptiveness to mobile ads, when controls and choice we're put around the proposition:

Mobile ad interest

Back to the Harris-CTIA survey data . . .

Giving up privacy for ads/offers:
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Consistently teens appear willing to give up privacy and personal information more than other age groups.  It remains to be seen in future years whether this is a cultural shift or simply a function of age.