Britons addicted to their 'CrackBerries': study

Aug 04, 2011

Many Britons are welded to their smartphones 24 hours a day and refuse to turn them off in cinemas and theatres, according to a study Thursday showing how the devices are changing social behaviour.

Research for telecommunications watchdog Ofcom showed that more than a third of adults and a majority of teenagers say they are highly addicted to devices such as the and BlackBerry, often referred to as 'CrackBerry' by users for this reason.

Users are more likely than owners of standard mobile phones to never switch them off, and are more inclined to continue sending email or text messages even when at the cinema or the theatre.

They are also more likely to be hunched over their phones during social occasions such as meals with friends, the research showed.

Smartphones also encourage users to make more calls and send more text messages than regular mobile phone owners.

More than a quarter of adults and nearly half of all teenagers in Britain now own a .

And people who had bought a smartphone reported they had cut back on activities such as reading books and newspapers and watching TV.

A clear sign of their growing influence can be seen in their intrusion into holiday time, with users admitting they were more likely to take calls or consult emails from the office even when away.

James Thickett, director of research for Ofcom, said the insistence on keeping smartphones switched on in cinemas and theatres raised issues of social etiquette and tolerance.

"It raises an issue about social etiquette and modern manners and the degree to which we as a society are tolerant of this behaviour," he said.

"I think what we have found before is that teenagers have always been more likely to use mobile phones in cinemas and theatres.

"What we are finding now is that for smartphone users, it is much, much higher, but adult smartphone users as well.

"So it is not just about adults and teenagers having different values, it is about technology driving the values towards the way you behave in social situations."

Explore further: Five features an Amazon phone might offer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Skype comes to Nokia smartphones, companies say

Mar 03, 2010

Mobile phone giant Nokia said on Wednesday that its smartphone users could begin making free calls after it teamed up with Internet phone pioneer Skype which permits free calls.

Smartphone use to soar in Asia: Nielsen

Jul 12, 2011

Smartphone use is poised to soar in Asia bringing with it a dramatic change in how people there access information on the Internet, according to industry tracker Nielsen Company.

Samsung Launches Slim Qwerty Smartphone

Jul 05, 2006

Samsung Electronics announced its launch of the SGH-i320 , new Slim Q WERTY Smartphone, signaling the company's drive to the s martphone m arket.

Recommended for you

Five features an Amazon phone might offer (Update)

12 hours ago

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

Apr 17, 2014

Sony says it has sold seven million PlayStation 4 worldwide since its launch last year and admitted it can't make them fast enough, in a welcome change of fortune for the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Moebius
1 / 5 (1) Aug 04, 2011
I read a study linking smart phones and IQ. People who don't have smart phones have higher IQ's.
sherriffwoody
not rated yet Aug 04, 2011
Cinemas should start jamming cell phone signals in theatres. Its criminal what noises and lights are in cinemas these days.
default_ex
not rated yet Aug 05, 2011
Umm, I thought crackberries was used to refer to blackberry phones which have been modified to use open source firmware/software.

I really liked the demonstration I seen at one of the Hope conferences solution. They activated a home made jamming device which knocked out just about every wireless signal during the presentation about having fun with open source hardware. It was small enough to fit inside of a cigarette package, and cheap enough that even a college student could afford the components. Covered a pretty large area too, the surrounding rooms and hallways were all affected by it.

More news stories

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...