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NEW DELHI: A whopping percentage of teens are heavily dependant on the mobile phone, which has also found its way into classrooms now.
According to a survey conducted by ASSOCHAM, 66 per cent of adolescents between 16 and 18 years carry a mobile handset while going to school, attending classes and tuition sessions, and while visiting public places with their friends and colleagues.
The survey also points out that 90 per cent of parents who have given their children mobile phones feel they bought them to keep the children busy and because of their own preoccupation.
The survey found girls using phones more than their male counterparts. While 69 per cent of the girls text messages several times a day to “just say hello and chat”, only 42 per cent of boys do so. Similarly, 74 per cent girls have long text exchanges on personal matters, while the percentage of boys doing the same is just 67.
Even as most schools treat the phone as something to be contained and regulated, teens are using phones frequently in the class for SMS, the survey has thrown up.
“This bizarre behaviour tendency is attributed to some socio-economic factors like excess pampering by parents, easy access to pocket money, absence of parental day-to-day monitoring, urbanisation, and westernised cultural influence motivate them to do so,” says the survey conducted under the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation.
The survey “Toy to Tool”, found 88 per cent adolescents aged between 15 and 18 years possessing a mobile phone while 40 per cent of teenagers aged 13-15 also use mobile phones. Fifty-one per cent of 12-year-olds own mobile phones, and the percentage goes up with age, 53 per cent of 13-year-olds, 72 per cent of 14-year-olds, 79 per cent of 15 year-olds, 85 per cent of 16-year-olds, 84 per cent of 17-year-olds and 92 per cent of 18-year-olds have their own phones.
The survey was based on interviews across Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Patna, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Dehra Dun. The survey also cautioned if this trend of dependence on mobiles prevails, teens could develop habitual addiction to mobile handsets. The survey also pointed out that teenagers who excessively use their mobile phones are more prone to abnormalities like disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue. “There seems to be an intrinsic connection between extensive use of mobile phones and health-hazards compromising (pampering) behaviour such as smoking, snuffing and use of alcohol,” the survey points out.
The survey also found 71 per cent teens desiring high end handsets that are equipped with MP3 gadgets to play music, while 70 per cent want camera phones.
“Fifty six per cent of the parents feel mobile phones play vital role in communication during an emergency and many parents desired their children be allowed to keep mobile phones with them. Mobile phones can also be used for extending helping hand during classroom session with medication, felt 23 per cent of parents,” the study reveals. The report says around 20 messages are sent by each student per day while 56 per cent of teenage girls send almost 50 text messages every day.
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