Professor researches cell phone usage among college students

Feb 26, 2007 By Jean Elliott
Professor researches cell phone usage among college students

Cell phones are commonplace fixture in United States culture these days, but a recent Virginia Tech survey reveals not only whom college students are talking to, but also for how long, and from where they converse.

The study was conducted by a research team of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society undergraduate and graduate students under the direction of Peggy S. Meszaros, the William E. Lavery Professor of human development and director of the Center for Information Technology Impacts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. The data, collected in February and March of 2005, consists of 568 responses to a 53-item survey, representing a 50.2 percent response rate.

“We were interested in whom the students were primarily talking to on their cell phones,” said Meszaros, “as well as their motivation for adopting technology and learning about the features they desire to see in future cell phone designs.”

The results from the large, heterogeneous study of college cell phone users also suggest that parents, who represent 80 percent of the cell phone bill payers, want their students to have and use their phones. Similarly, the students place a strong value on the safety and security of having a cell phone.

The report indicates that students are in regular communication through their cell phones, participating in an average of 11 calls per day. Eighty percent of the participants used their phones most often between the hours of 6 p.m. until midnight, seemingly taking advantage of the lower evening rates.

The preferred place for both females and males to use their cell phone was at their home, followed by a car for females and school for males.

Overall, student responses regarding to whom they talked were fairly evenly distributed across three categories: immediate family members, boyfriends or girlfriends, and friends/relatives. Students varied widely in their attitudes toward social dependence on the cell phone. Female students differed from male students by using their cell phones for communication with immediate family members, including parents, speaking more often, and talking for longer times. Future research is needed to explore the impact of this frequent pattern of communication between college students and their parents on their transition to adulthood.

Over 345 students responded with desired features-for-future cell phones. Suggestions ranged from having access to Braille on their phones to having phones equipped with live video cameras so they can see their callers. There was clearly a trend toward having phones that combine multiple functions and are an accessory as well as a functional appliance.

Source: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Explore further: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Share button may share your browsing history, too

31 minutes ago

One in 18 of the world's top 100,000 websites track users without their consent using a previously undetected cookie-like tracking mechanism embedded in 'share' buttons. A new study by researchers at KU Leuven ...

Jeju Island is a live volcano, study reveals

40 minutes ago

In Jeju, a place emerging as a world-famous vacation spot with natural tourism resources, a recent study revealed a volcanic eruption occurred on the island. The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral ...

Recommended for you

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0