The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Minus mobiles, life stops

London. Nov. 14: Young Britons find it impossible to organise their lives if they are deprived of their mobile phones, a survey has found.

A group of 15- to 24-year-olds had their phones taken away from them for two weeks in an experiment to find out more about their mobile habits. The researchers found that their social lives fell apart.

Jo Rigby, of Manning Gottlieb OMD, one of the marketing companies behind the research, said: 'It was a bizarre experience for the group. When their phones were taken away, they had to completely change the way they dealt with life.'

The study found young people enjoy the fact that mobiles allow them to be spontaneous and make last-minute arrangements with their friends. But, when their mobiles were taken away, the group discovered they had to organise their lives in advance and make formal plans if they wanted to see their friends.

Tarquin Glass, 21, a film student at Newcastle University, was without his mobile phone for five days. 'I had to make more of an effort to be organised and be on time if I wanted to meet my friends,' he said.

Mobiles, he said, had completely destroyed all sense of punctuality among his friends because they relied on the fact that they could get in contact at the last minute.

James Buckley, 21, a box office clerk from London, who took part in the experiment, said having his mobile taken away from him was 'awful'.

'I had to get everywhere really early because I couldn't tell my friends I might be late. I went from being someone who is normally fashionably late to the earliest arrival.'

The researchers also discovered that being without their mobiles meant young people were forced to endure a rather novel set of experiences: such as talking to their own parents, knocking on the front door of their friends' houses and meeting their friends' parents.

Previously, some of those in the group had been able to evade their parents by continuously texting and talking to their friends in their own rooms. And when they wanted actually to meet their own friends, they would text them from outside the house and wait for them to come outside, rather than knocking on the door.

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