Cellphones not only for fun and games

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Researchers and tech-watchers have long understood that the chirping, insatiable temptations of our little screens change the way we interact with other people 'IRL' (in real life).

High school pupils in Gauteng schools consider their cellphones their best friends.

And 64.7 percent of them cannot live without them, while 27.6 percent of them are likely to respond with anger when their parents read their messages without permission.

This came out of a study by the Unisa College of Economic and Management Sciences’ youth research unit.

The research started last year and was concluded this year. It was released last month.

The study found that six in 10 pupils are addicted to cellphones.

“These research results are cause for concern since more of the youth are currently faced with the potential dangers typically associated with compulsive addictive cellphone behaviour,” reads the study.

Of the 10 000 pupils interviewed 90.5 percent use their cellphones to access the internet and 23.4 percent for social networking.

A mere 9.1 percent use their cellphones for homework and assignments. Mostly Grade 12 pupils said they used their phones as a learning tool.

Cellphones are an ideal tool to build personal and romantic relations, says the study.

However, pupils don’t only use their cellphones for fun and games. Seven out of 10 have used them to call someone when they were in danger.

And even though they don’t want parents to snoop around their cellphones, 86.5 percent of the pupils feel safer when they have their cellphones to allow their parents to monitor their whereabouts. - Sunday Independent

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