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Monday, June 7, 2010

Survey reveals a fifth of youngsters play Text Roulette

Mobile phone comparison website Rightmobilephone.co.uk has been asking teenagers about their texting habits. 19% admitting having previously sent a text message to a 'random' mobile number, while 22% said they'd typed an obscene text message and sent it to someone in their contact list without checking who the recipient was.

42% of the random texters said they sent their SMS messages because they were bored. 31% said it was 'just for fun', 11% said it was due to loneliness and 9% were dared to do so. More than half – 54% – said they'd received a reply.

Neil McHugh, co-founder of Rightmobilephone.co.uk, said "We’d hope young people realise the dangers of texting strange numbers and adding people they don’t know on Facebook, although judging by the findings, this is not the case. As more young people now own mobile phones, I would encourage parents to keep a closer eye on how their children are using them. We were surprised by the number of teenagers that have actually taken part in these risky 'games' like Text Roulette and what was even more worrying is that the majority of the teenagers had a reply from texts they had sent to random numbers."

The survey involved 1,382 young people aged between 13 and 16.

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1 comments on article "Survey reveals a fifth of youngsters play Text Roulette"

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David

12/21/2010 12:27 PM

What dangers are these that young people are not aware of? Unless sufficient personal information is given out to allow the texter to be tracked down I can't think of any at all.

Adding strange people on Facebook is a separate issue and I'm not sure what it has to do with this survey about text roulette.

This sounds like yet more scaremongering about how the youth of today are going to destroy themselves with technology unless there is some kind of crackdown. Text roulette is significantly less risky than knocking on doors and running off, which children have been annoying adults with forever without moral panic ensuing.

The non-existent risk of children coming to harm through sending silly texts to random numbers should not be used as an excuse for parents to exercise more control and pry into their offspring's private communications. Educating children about the risks involved in giving out personal information then letting them make their own decisions and having the decency to allow them some privacy is vastly preferable to Mr McHugh's suggestion that parents closely monitor their children's phones.

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