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28 October 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - East: Monday 18th October, 2004

MOBILE PHONE MANIA

Mobile phone message
Message received - Over a billion are every month

It was predicted around 4 million people would own a mobile phone by now. The figure is actually around 40 million in the UK alone! About a billion text messages are sent every month - mostly by teenagers.

They've become vital for business too - but is it an addiction?

Inside Out decided to find out!

The test

Are you a mobile maniac?

If you're familiar with all the abbreviations in our txt dictionary, you may well be!

:-) Happy

;-D Grinning

%-) Confused or merry

:-7 Smirk

:'-D Crying with laughter

:-x Small kiss

:-X Big sloppy kiss

:-)... Drooling

<3 A love heart

@--^-- A rose

:'-( Crying

%-( Confused

>:-( Angry yet sad

/:-| Unamused, mildly cross

>:-| Cross

>:-@! Angry and swearing

>8-D Evil, crazed laughter

With a great degree of difficulty, Inside Out persuaded three mobile addicts to go a whole week without their mobiles…

Jon Evans
Age: thirty something
Lives: Colchester
Occupation: Estate Agent
Rhea Sturman
Age:17
Lives: Northamptonshire
Occupation: Student
Liva Chann
Age:17
Lives: Northamptonshire
Occupation: Student

Jon's nightmare

Such is the level of the business person's dependency, Jon Evans refused to go without his mobile for longer than one day.

His secretary Sally Reed can't believe that he agreed.

She says, "I don't know how he's going to manage."

Jon’s mobile-free day didn't pass without event.

Presenter Nina Hobson found one hidden in his glove compartment - and another in the drinks container.

Jon even tried to borrow a mobile from a passer by in the street as he didn't have enough money for a pay phone.

At the end of the day he concluded that he could well have lost 10s of thousands of pounds due to missed calls.

Would he do it again? "Definitely not!"

Teenagers' trauma

Video diaries
Girls using mobile phones
"The person who did this is sadistic"
Rhea
DAY THREE - COLD TURKEY
DAY FIVE - FRUSTRATED
DAY SIX - MISSING FRIENDS
DAY SEVEN - CAUGHT OUT
  REALPLAYER REQUIRED

Inside Out left Rhia and Liva with a video camera to record their mobile-free period.

By day two they were suffering.

What the girls don’t know is that one evening the Inside Out team were watching them with a hidden camera.

Rhea was caught using her mobile to text.

"I know I was wrong", she says, "especially as I was sitting right next to a pay phone!"

Behaviour analyst

The results were analysed by Communications Psychologist Adam Joinson from the Open University in Milton Keynes.

He wasn’t surprised to see Jon resorting to cheating.

"For the business person the mobile now has a material value as well".

Overall he believes we are seeing a "serious dependency", with people suffering feelings of loss and alienation when deprived of their mobiles.

Some people say that for young people, it’s better that they spend their money on mobiles than drink or cigarettes.

But whether or not it’s really more healthy remains to be seen!

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