In 1990, there were 21.1 cell phone users per 1000 people. That number grew to 683 per 1000 in 2005. It is projected that by 2010, almost everyone will have a cell phone, or 946 out of every 1000 people. Cell usage is even more widespread in Western Europe. In 2005, they had 930 cell phone users per 1000 people, and by 2010, that is projected to grow to 1008. Yes, more phones than people! One of the biggest markets for cell phones now is teenagers. If you have a teen or tween, you may want to take a look at the following usage trends.
A survey done in 2004 showed that half of all teenagers had their own cell phone, and because teens are social creatures, they have very distinct patterns of use. A survey done by Disney Mobile found that usage increased in the summer among those ten to seventeen. No surprise there – there is no school so they need to keep in touch somehow. Here are some ways these tweens and teens are using their phones:
For texting. Text messages are the most common mode of communication for about 44% of cell phone using teens. About half send text messages even when hanging out with other friends at movies or while at the dinner table with their families. Incredibly, about a quarter sends a text message within ten minutes of waking up in the morning. For calling their parents. 96% of those surveyed say they spoke to or texted their parents at least once a day, and 20% connected with their parents an astounding five or more times a day.
Cell phones have become a must-have for most teens, and most would rather give up anything else – TV, video games, mp3 players, etc. – than their phones. As a parent it can be hard to monitor your child's cell phone use all the time, and they are important so your child can contact you if they need a ride or are sick. It is smart, though, to try to limit their phone time and to keep tabs on who they are calling. While they may balk at this, it is for their safety and well-being. If you see an unfamiliar number, you can do a reverse phone lookup to find out who is calling your child. It pays to be cautious, especially when so many teens are also using social networking sites. You need to know who they're talking to so you can help keep them safe.