Download the mobile internet: family and society

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Thursday October 30th, 2008
Refers to access to the World Wide Web
Using mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs,
and other portable gadgets connected to a public
Mobile wireless modem, either integrated into a
mobile phone or in an independent device
Does not require a desktop computer, nor a fixed
landline connection.
Services on the Mobile Web can include capabilities
that do not exist on the traditional Internet, such as
SMS text messaging.
The role of digital technology in families
continues to grow
Increasingly younger consumers have become
mobile phone users
The rise of family plans in some parts of the
world and free phones with some packages
The increasing feeling among parents that they
should be able to reach their children at any time
of the day
The impact of advertising on television, internet
and other forms of media that are readily
available to children
Parents giving in to demands by their children to
own mobile internet devices
Teens and their parents often have similar
technology profiles in the gadgets they use and the
frequency with which they use them.
89% of online teens say the internet and other
devices in their lives like cell phones, iPods, and
digital cameras make their lives easier.
71% of their parents say these technologies make
their lives easier.
The tech profile of parents and teens often mirror
each other. Parents who use the internet frequently
have teenage children who use the internet.
Parents and spouses are using the internet
and cell phones to create a “new
connectedness” that builds on remote
connections and shared internet
A majority of parents with online teens still
believe the internet is a beneficial factor in their
children’s lives.
There has been a decrease since 2004 in the
number of parents who believe the internet is a
good thing for their children.
More parents are neutral about whether their
children are positively affected by the internet.
In most families, internet use is a subject of
family rule-making and discussion. The
content of web material, more than the time
spent online, gets the most parental
Pew Internet & American Life Project Parents and Teens Survey,
October-November 2006. surveyed 935 parents and youth in their
families aged 12 to 17 years
Increase closeness in families via:
Cell phone and email access
Text messaging
Families have access to information more easily
and readily
Can do research and compare products online
and purchase at the click of a button
Useful in today’s fast paced life and saves time
Educational advantages:
Research for school assignments
Homework posted online
Access to schools and students worldwide
Use of multimedia to teach
Access to advice and assistance in academics
and family issues
Busy and tech-using families
are less likely to share meals
and less likely to report
satisfaction with their leisure
Easily reached by Advertisers - increasingly using
the mobile Web as a platform to reach
Mobile advertising may not be viewed as
helpful -- or even wanted.
Influencing spending and budgeting –
purchasing items not really needed.
Effect on children – developing culture of
The ability of advertisers to reach
out to children and interact with
them through their cell phones has
raised concerns from the perspective
of consumers, and of course,
There be some rules - guidelines for the mobile
space – when it comes to children.
The age issue in the mobile realm is in many
ways an extension of concerns about protecting
children on the Web.
We need more ways in which parents can
regulate children’s mobile activities, such as the
ability to turn off Internet access, filter Web
content and block unwanted calls or text