Headlines > Young people less interested in their phones, despite increase in mobile platforms

Posted on November 2, 2017

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Zach Kocis reports on decrease in mobile device usage and whether this trend will continue
This year, young people are starting to put down their smartphone more often than ever before.

A new study, released by consumer and market research group Kantar TNS, indicated that people aged 16-24 in the UK spend an average of 3.8 hours per day using their smartphone, including browsing social media and watching videos online. Comparatively, last year 16-24 year olds were using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets 3.9 hours each day, showing a decrease of just 0.1 hours.

Despite the small decrease in use, it remains to be seen whether these numbers indicate an outlying statistic or are part of a downward trend. Contrasting findings from the study indicate an increase in the diversity of platforms being used by people in this age group.

“In today’s fragmented media landscape, millennials are using even more platforms across IM, social and traditional channels,” said Joseph Webb, global director of Connected Life, done by Kantar TNS. “Almost seven in 10 (69%) of 16-30 year olds use instant messaging every day, up from 43% last year, while almost two hours a day are spent watching video on-demand and TV shows on the Internet.”

The research also found that 94% of 16-24 year olds in the UK have a smartphone and most open an app on their mobile devices every 15 minutes.
However, 34% of 16-24 year olds globally believe they use their phone or other mobile device too much and are determined to decrease their usage.

“It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle — phones are too entwined in our everyday lives, so we’re not likely to see many young people taking the radical decision to ditch them,” said Michael Nicholas of Kantar TNS.

Evidently, young people have started to rein in their mobile usage, but further studies will only indicate if becomes an on-going trend.

What I think
As Michael Nicholas from Kantar TNS said, phones are used in almost every aspect of our daily life. Apps now provide an enormous range of services from social media and mobile banking to maps and directions, so ease of use and convenience are part of the trade-off when considering whether to use phones less frequently.

I believe that using a mobile device for essential functions such as maps, texting and email while choosing to use social media in moderation will be the next trend. It is not efficient to simply cut all use of smartphones and other mobile devices.

Zach Kocis
Zach is a student from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania studying abroad in London. He comments on politics, social issues and events affecting the university for The Temple News. A former editor-in-chief of The Paw Print, a college newspaper, and intern for Philadelphia Magazine, he aspires to become a White House correspondent, write for a travel magazine or explore the world of audio and video editing.

Exposure is an award-winning youth communications charity giving young people in north London a voice. Please support us to continue our work. Thank you.



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