Study reveals Aussies' social obsession with mobile phones


The average Australian spends one hour on his or her mobile phone every day, according to the preliminary results of a national survey released by the Queensland University of Technology.

The study by QUT consumer behaviour expert Diana James is the the country's first survey on its mobile phone obsession and has found one in five Australians are potentially addicted to their mobiles.

More than 2500 phone owners completed Ms James' online survey, which focused on the psychological, financial and social impact of Australian's skyrocketing use of mobile phones.

She found 22% of these people considered themselves to be heavy or very heavy users and 8% had experienced monthly bills that were over $500.

Ms James' preliminary findings also show that texting now dominates Australians' use of mobile phones.

"People who did the survey used SMS almost three times as much as voice communication," she said.

"The average respondent made 3.5 voice calls each day but sent nine text messages. They spent one hour on the phone every day on average, which included 35 minutes of texting."

And Ms James said mobiles had become a social tool, rather than a business tool.

"The people surveyed said most of their phone time was spent contacting close friends (28%) and partners (28%), or family (26%), with just 11% of phone time relating to business," she said.

Ms James said Australia had one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world and it was important to find ways to measure mobile phone addiction.

"The survey results show that the majority of people are responsible with their phone, just like the majority who drive cars are responsible," she said.

"But there's a significant element who have severe problems with their phones and that's expressed in their psychological relationship with their ph

Contact: Mechelle McMahon
Queensland University of Technology

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