– Young people don’t use their mobile phones ‘just for fun’ but also for serious matters: to say something about themselves and their relationships with other young people (self-expression).
– Branded goods play an important role in this self-expression.
– Texting is “a reaffirmation and a reminder that “I’m with you??.”
– Many young people feel depressed after a whole day without SMS. Some young people even go to rehab clinics for being “text-addicts”!
– The mobile phone has taken over the former position of cigarettes in offering a private space for unsupervised private communication. (And some studies suggest young people are smoking less and less because their money now goes to phone bills – MdL)
– Texting is attractive because the language can be deformed so that no adult can understand it. (This is also pointed out by Mitzuko Ito in an article (in Ling & Pedersen: 2005) about how traditional institutions like family and the classroom are being challenged by the mobile phone – MdL).
– The phone itself allow for personalization (wallpapers, ringtones, etc.) and enables young people to express themselves and “advertise their identity as part of their peer group.” (> Interesting notion “advertizing identity” – we are all designing and branding ourselves to some extend).
– The basic social needs of young people are: “Social Networking, Communication, Status display, Personalisation and acting as a Behavioural Platform.”
– Mobile operators realize too little of these characteristics of young people’s interaction with the mobile phone.
Read the whole interview here!