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The rise of anti-social mobility

The rise of anti-social mobility

If you feel like your friends have abandoned you or that your partner may be out pushing someone else's buttons, it's quite likely to be true.

People are spending more time with their mobile phones than ever before and it's eating into personal lives. More people are also downloading adult entertainment to the palm of their hand.

If you fear, however, that social standards are slipping, the reality is that when it comes to consuming mobile porn, Australia is a nation of prudes.

Instead, the fourth phone lifestyle index shows mobile phone owners are far more interested in viewing weather reports and maps than porn on their handsets. Even public transport timetables outrank unseemly pursuits.

But report co-author Marisa Maio Mackay says people are allocating more hours to any number of electronic devices in lieu of family or social time.

"What we're finding is that people are using all types of devices more . . . and they're just as likely to use it at home as they are out and about. So there's a whole change in the way people are behaving and interacting," Maio Mackay says.

The findings are based on a survey of 2097 consumers aged 10 to 78 on behalf of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, whose members include Google, ninesmsn, Sensis and Yahoo!.

News, weather, sports and maps have been the most common information services used in the past year, followed by movie information, astrology, restaurant reviews, TV listings and financial information. Less popular but growing rapidly are comedy, adult and dating services.

Among younger users, mobile social networking is rising in popularity, with MSN Messenger, Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo! Messenger the services most used.

The growing amount of content available on mobiles is one factor increasing the time people spend with their phones, AIMIA Mobile Industry Group chair Claudia Sagripanti says.

"People are spending 50 per cent more time interacting with their phone than they did last year," she says. "We can guess they are downloading content and doing a lot more things."

All of that extra time spent handling handsets could help explain the results of an Allphones survey of mobile phone buying habits issued this week that shows appearance is far more important to shoppers than price.

According to that research, 20 per cent of people bought their mobile phone because of the way it looked and sounded. Only 12 per cent based their purchase decision on cost. Thirty-three per cent cited a desire to have the latest technology.

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Tags generation ymobilitysocial networking

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