Save The Chil­dren launches a ‘Phone­less Fri­day’ cam­paign

Malta Independent - - TECHNOLOGY -

A char­ity has launched a 'Phone­less Fri­day' cam­paign af­ter find­ing 2.4 mil­lion peo­ple in Bri­tain 'would not be able to cope' if they left their phone at home for a day.

Around 43 mil­lion peo­ple reg­u­larly use smart­phones to con­tact each other and in just a few years this has trans­formed the rules of tra­di­tional Bri­tish eti­quette, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers for Save the Chil­dren.

Nearly all (97%) smart­phone users be­lieve break­ing up with a part­ner via text is un­ac­cept­able but at least four mil­lion peo­ple have had it hap­pen to them, the re­search found.

In re­sponse, Save the Chil­dren has chal­lenged peo­ple to leave their mo­biles at home on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 7 to 're­dis­cover the for­got­ten phe­nom­ena of face-to-face con­ver­sa­tion'.

The char­ity's sur­vey of 2,032 adults re­vealed more peo­ple (64%) con­sider tex­ting while talk­ing to some­one ruder than not giv­ing up a seat for some­one who needs it (63%), and ruder than being late (54%).

More than half said they find bad phone-re­lated man­ners frus­trat­ing, in par­tic­u­lar peo­ple who speak loudly on their phones while us­ing pub­lic transport (66%), and peo­ple who text at the din­ner ta­ble (53%).

A sim­i­lar num­ber (48%) said they find it rude when peo­ple fail to look where they are go­ing be­cause they are tex­ting, while just over a third con­sider it poor form to text some­one bad news rather than tell them in per­son.

The re­search came af­ter an Of­com re­port re­vealed peo­ple are spend­ing more than 24 hours a week on­line, while re­cent ONS fig­ures showed we send more than 262 mil­lion texts a day be­tween us.

Save the Chil­dren found that, on aver­age, smart­phone users would be will­ing to pay £47 to re­trieve their phone if they lost it.

Co­me­dian Dom Joly, an am­bas­sador for Save the Chil­dren, drew at­ten­tion to poor phone eti­quette with his Big Phone Guy sketch on the show Trig­ger Happy in 2000.

The char­ac­ter talked loudly on an enor­mous fake mo­bile phone in quiet or pub­lic places, or at in­ap­pro­pri­ate mo­ments.

Mr Joly said: 'There was some­thing cringe­wor­thy but recog­nis­able about him. We've prob­a­bly all had a phone con­ver­sa­tion a lit­tle too loudly or walked into some­thing be­cause we're tex­ting.

'Phone­less Fri­day is giv­ing peo­ple the chance to get back to the sim­pler time of pi­geon car­ri­ers and pa­per map read­ing whilst feel­ing great about ig­nor­ing your friends, be­cause it's all for an in­cred­i­bly wor­thy cause.'

Nearly a fifth of sur­vey re­spon­dents ad­mit­ted to committing a phone faux pas of their own, in­clud­ing walk­ing into some­thing while us­ing their hand­sets (17%), send­ing an em­bar­rass­ing text to the wrong per­son (19%), and get­ting drunk and send­ing a mes­sage that they later re­gret­ted (18%).

A sim­i­lar num­ber re­vealed oc­ca­sions when they stopped lis­ten­ing to some­one speak­ing to them and where they had bumped into some­thing or some­one be­cause they were us­ing their phones.

One in 10 also ad­mit­ted miss­ing their stop on pub­lic transport be­cause they were us­ing a smart­phone.

Save the Chil­dren fundrais­ing di­rec­tor Nick Jones said: 'Phone­less Fri­day is a fun new fundraiser to chal­lenge peo­ple to get their friends to­gether, give up their phones for one day, and do­nate.

'Whether at work, at home or in the pub, we've all got that one mate who is glued to their phone, so it's about watch­ing them squirm as they long to check In­sta­gram, or watch­ing them try and work out how to get some­where with­out their map app.'

Peo­ple who want to take part in the event are asked to visit phone­less­fri­day.org.uk to con­trib­ute £5 to the char­ity, which works to­wards sup­port­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren across the coun­try.

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