Mobile Phones in Modern Society: The Need for a More Responsible Approach

Over the past two decades, the mobile phone has become a ubiquitous device that is indispensable to almost everyone in the UK. However, that growth also presents challenges, and there’s increasing concern about the excessive use of mobile phones. It’s provoked a societal debate about how to use these devices responsibly, with particular attention given to the growing number of children who own mobile phones.

In a free report, CCS Insight assesses the challenges facing the industry and what it’s doing to address some of these concerns. Drawing on findings from organizations such as Ofcom and Internet Matters alongside our own analysis, we examine parents’ and children’s views on mobile phones, the renaissance of the feature phone, the challenges of smartphones and how the industry can help.

Understandably, parents are worried about their children spending more and more time looking at screens. According to Ofcom, about 45% of parents with 12- to 17-year-old kids believe they have a poor balance between screen time and other things. Interestingly, a decent proportion of children agree, with just over a third (35%) of those aged between eight and 17 admitting their screen time is too high.

There are other considerations too. Internet Matters reports that 57% of parents believe that spending time on their phone, computer or games console disrupts their children’s sleep pattern and 63% believe that spending a lot of time online affects their child’s physical health.

However, it’s not all bad news. Ofcom reports that 54% of parents agree that the benefits of using connected devices outweigh the risks of their children going online. This is mainly because it helps with school and homework-related tasks, with 80% of 12- to 17-year-olds believing this is a key benefit.

It’s also encouraging to see network operators such as Vodafone partnering to provide information on parental controls and resources such as a toolkit that encourages families to talk about the safe use of connected devices.

If you’d like to learn more, these topics and more are covered in CCS Insight’s latest report, Responsible Use of Mobile Phones — An Important Societal Trend. Get your free copy below for all the insight.