The new garden fence

Freud Communications have put together a well-resourced research led campaign called MobileLife 2006 for Carphone Warehouse. Apparently this was originally put up at the end of July, but it only came to my attention yesterday when a story about most 10-year olds having a phone started to appear in the media.The site has a couple of downloadable reports focusing on mobile usage in the UK in general and a particular report looking at generation Y.

In a PR-by-numbers section there is a mobile tribes document so readers can see which group they fall into as well as some good quality essays that probe child care and family life.Tabloid readers will be delighted to hear that only 13 per cent turn their mobile off during sex. The report thankfully does not say how many of the 87 per cent use the switched-on phone as an improvised marital aid (ooh aahh

Daily Star). Despite its PR roots the reports deserve to be downloaded and read from cover-to-cover, I particularly liked the essay by Kate Fox of the Social Issues Research Centre that described the mobile phone as the modern-day garden fence and then showed how text messages fulfilled the same role of sociability, yet at the same time the mobile phone could be used as a social barrier by women to discourage predatory males (mainly because predatory bunnyboiling females ignore such obvious non-verbal cues to sling their hook).Carsten Sorensen of the LSE has an interesting take on UK mobile etiquette: whilst we were not likely to turn the mobile off at a leisure activity like the cinema or a theatre, we would turn the phone off in a restaurant or at night. The subtext being that we are bunch of selfish *!^@s who will only shut our mobile phone off if it inconveniences us or we are more likely to get busted and face the social consequences.

Something for the Freud communications wash-up report: must proof URLs listed in any client written material to ensure they actually work ie: http://personal.lse.ac.co.uk/sorensen should be http://personal.lse.ac.uk/sorensen ;-).

Kudo to Ian for some pointers.