Acne, Mobile Phones, & Teenagers.

I have been doing some thinking about the number of teenagers with mobile phones.  There has been a  lot of talk in the media recently about sexting, cyber-bullying, and the like. While these are serious and important concerns, little attention seems to be given to the context of these evolving problems.  While not wishing to diminish the gravity of these social problems, they need to be considered in proportion to the proliferation rate of the technology involved.  Take a moment to consider the sheer size of mobile phone usage.

Mobile Phone Stats

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU),  has predicted that by the end of this year, 2010, there will be more than 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide.

In 2007 mobile phone subscriptions started to out number people in Australia:  21.26 million subscriptions  for  21.01 million people.

In Australia over 83% of teenagers own a mobile phone,  that means there are as many teenagers with a mobile as there are with acne (it makes an interesting headline).

40% of Australian kids have a their own mobile phone by the age of 13.

Over 90% of teenagers regularly use a mobile phone.

In the United States over 75% of teenagers own a mobile phone.

Of these teenagers 1 in 3 send over 100 text messages a day.

Of the nearly 10million Australians who have used social media sites over 25% of them have done so with mobile technology.

78% of those who used social media used it to post photos. More than 60% of those social media users are under the age of 35.

Social networking traffic now rivals search engine traffic on the internet.

With so many teenagers having and using mobile phones it is only logical to expect that many of the traditional challenges of adolescence would be find expression through this new technology.  In the same way the incredible uptake of social networking sites and the increasing easy mobile access will only exacerbate any already developing trend. Of course this does not mean there are not serious issues confronting teenagers and their use, or mis-use, of new technology, but it does put the issues in a proper perspective.

In future posts we will explore  the ramification of such high rates of mobile and social media technology, but for now I am going to ponder that for every teenager that has acne there is a teenager with a mobile phone subscription.

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