Teenagers hooked by bright covers and 'texting' craze

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Not so long ago, trainers were the ultimate means of self-expression for Britain's youngsters. But millennial teenagers now want one thing more than anything else - to be connected.

Not so long ago, trainers were the ultimate means of self-expression for Britain's youngsters. But millennial teenagers now want one thing more than anything else - to be connected.

As any parent will be only too aware, mobile telephones have become essential fashion and leisure accessories for children, offering a range of gimmicks which may leave parents bemused but are a must-have for any self-respecting teenager.

Peer pressure among the young is notoriously brutal, and a 13-year-old carrying a simple, pay-as-you talk telephone, sustained by a careful budgeting of pocket money, is likely to be sneered at by his or her gadget-laden friends.

Telephones are now the most sought-after "toy" for children as young as nine or 10, and it is, rather alarmingly, this age group which is thought to be the fastest growing market.

The explosion is attributed to marketing ploys designed to appeal to young people, such as brightly coloured, interchangeable covers with eye-catching designs and clips for them to be attached easily to clothing.

In the United States, companies have used children in advertisements. Shops there are full of phones and accessories directed at them. Text messaging is now one of the most popular ways for a teenager to ask that special someone in class three out on a first date - and be dumped by them afterwards, as well as receive consolatory missives from friends.

The service, often cheaper than making a call, has become such a craze with adults and teenagers alike that a phrasebook has even been published, translating the shorthand language of "texting".

For those children who cannot bear to leave their PlayStations at home, many telephones also offer the choice of one or two simple games, ensuring youngsters keep on using their telephones even when they are not making or receiving a call.

The introduction of WAP phones means that e-mails and the internet are also accessible on the move, but probably more appealing to the young is the facility which allows phones to be programmed with personal rings for each different caller.

Parents often buy their children mobile phones for the safety and security they offer, astheir children are almost always contactable. But for the children, it is a matter of having the model with the most bleeps and brightest cover.

Comments