Authors have noted that young people like to use the Internet and mobile phones for communication purposes. This paper reports results concerning use of the Internet and mobile phones for communication from a survey of 1340 English secondary schoolchildren conducted in 2002 and examines whether the use of either of these forms of communication technologies occurs at the expense of the other amongst this group. In agreement with background literature, it was found that communication via the Internet and mobile phones was popular amongst young people and small but significant positive correlations amongst the sample for measures of the use of the Internet and mobile phones for communication purposes were also discovered. This latter finding implies that these communication media are complementary rather than substitutable amongst young people. This article discusses a number of possible reasons for the popularity of the Internet and mobile phones for communication amongst young people and states that the positive correlations imply that children are ‘rational actors' where communication via modern technology is concerned. That is, young people use the Internet and mobile phones strategically to meet different communication needs. It is concluded that as both of these forms of communication technology can be employed to achieve different purposes, the result is that neither negates the use of the other amongst this group.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Applied Psychology, University of Durham, Stockton Campus, University Boulevard, Thornaby, Stockton on Tees, UK
Applied Psychology, University of Durham, Psychology Department
March 1, 2005
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