Mobile phones: it must be love

November 1, 2007

I wrote on 26th October about our increasingly bizarre relationship with mobile phones, reporting the findings of a MORI/LSE report claiming that, for many people, mobile phones have become a kind of “imaginary friend”.


Now, watching the Graham Norton show (and enjoying it, to my eternal shame), I find myself being alerted to this news story from last year. More people than ever, according to the BBC, are asking to be buried or cremated with their mobile phones when they die.

Norton: “Listen darling. Your grandchildren didn’t call you when you were alive. They’re not going to start doing it now”


Mobile phones: better than friends

October 26, 2007

The Carphone Warehouse and the LSE have released an interesting report into the impact of mobile phones on European life, based on a large survey by polling company MORI. The report compares mobile phone usage in Spain, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK.

Here are a few key quotes:

The sociological idea that mobile phones have become a kind of “imaginary friend” or “interactive cyberpet” was given credence by the fact that a substantial minority of Brits [25%] now use them as a convenient barrier with which to resist the intrusion of strangers in public places”.

The purchase of a mobile phone by a parent for a young adult is akin to a rite of passage in the contemporary family.

Western Europeans, and particularly the British, emerge from this survey as endowed with an almost neurotically intimate attachment to their phones. A full one in ten respondents admitted that they felt “addicted” to their mobile phone, and an equal number claimed that their mobile phone was their most prized possession. The mobile phone has now become a kind of “pacifier for adults”.

The report also notes that “style is significantly more important to the French than anyone else when choosing their mobile”.

Some things never change.