The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Looka here: Market research in the UK finds that some 400,000 children under the age of 10 possess their very own wireless phones. I'm sure the numbers in the rest of Europe, and in the U.S., are at least comparable, if not higher.

Nothing blows my mind, or makes me feel old, more than the concept of kids having their own cellphones. It just seems so... wrong, somehow. It's a knee-jerk reaction, old-fogeyish, but that's just how it strikes me. Maybe it's because I didn't get a mobile phone of my own until my late 20s (when they really started to become ubiquitous, anyway). Maybe I still, subconsciously, think of wireless phones as a high-end item, as they were when those massive brick-like handsets started becoming noticable on Wall Street in the 80s. Whatever it is, I can't get my mind around the concept.

And yet, kids have their phones, and they're gonna keep them. I've talked to parents about this, and their attitude is that it's ideal for keeping tabs on their kids, keeps the home phone from getting tied up, and makes the kids happy. As this news item suggests, such a large youth market, connected to a device they absolutely love to use, makes for a primo advertising target.