Children in the Middle East and North Africa are having the same mobile-device issues as their counterparts in America.
A new article details the results of a survey of children between the ages of eight and twelve on mobile etiquette, and on the use of their own mobile devices.
Since these same problems are becoming common throughout the Middle East and North Africa, I thought I’d just survey a few children I know personally to see if the results here agree with the American survey.
A third-grader I know tells me that one child in her class has his own Blackberry, and that all the other children are jealous.
She agreed with the one-third of American children who said they would rather go without their entire summer vacation than give up their mobile device (s) for one month.
She disagreed with the 50 percent who felt it was okay to use a mobile device at the dinner table. I was pleasantly surprised when she told me she prefers talking to people in person over sending a receiving messages from them on a mobile device.
Some fifth-graders I know (ages 10-11) tell me that EVERYONE (except one person) in their class has either two, three, or four mobile devices per person. The one person who doesn’t have any feels very left out. They said they spend between two and three hours a day on their mobile devices, right in line with the American survey. They also agreed that ALL of the children, themselves included, would FAR rather do without their summer vacation than give up mobile devices for one month.
They told me that everyone thinks it’s okay to use the devices at the dinner table if just the family is present, and that parents would not object–in fact, some would use devices themselves.
However, if guests were present, using mobile devices at the dinner table would be rude.
Eighty percent of the upper-middle class high school students in my region now have their Blackberries, according to high school students I know (not compared on the American survey).
See the first comment below for the text of survey of American children.