Teenage Perspective: UK Becoming a Smartphone Society, Will You Join Us?

Want to understand how young people are consuming media from someone experiencing it first hand? In this series of blog posts, Generation Media intern Siobhan Glover looks at a number of topics relevant to the teenage Millennial and offers a mix of opinion and insight into this important demographic’s lifestyle choices.

Over the next few weeks Siobhan will discuss teenage smartphone usage, social media sites and how she believes content goes viral online. 


Like most teenagers I am attached to my phone at all times, but we’re not the only ones! Smartphones have been picked up by consumers of all ages and have recently overtaken laptops as the most popular device for accessing the internet in the UK, according to Ofcom.

Across the country over two thirds of adults have a smartphone in their pocket, up from only 39% in 2012, and the average amount of time UK adults spend online has also doubled in the past decade to more than 20 hours per week. These figures are predicted to continue to increase as more adapt to the Smartphone Age.

From my first ever Nokia brick to my does-everything-Smartphone, I have grown up beside the evolution of the mobile phone so I have seen first-hand how they have changed teenage culture. Any spare time sparks a peak in Smartphone usage (when I wake up, lunchtimes, when I get home from college, before bed). Even if you’re in company it isn’t frowned upon to all be sat together reading your screen. Each time there is a new development my Smartphone becomes a more integral part of my life serving almost every function, replacing landlines, TV, newspapers, cameras and books.

Children are jumping on board with over 40% of 5-15 year olds now owning a mobile phone, rising to almost 80% children aged 12-15 with the biggest increase of smartphone ownership happening at 13 years old. It seems this Smartphone Generation is growing up in a world where Smartphones are the norm. I was shocked when my younger brother’s friends at the age of 7 were given the latest iPhone AND a BlackBerry for Christmas. His school is even utilising this craze sending all homework via online messenger and asking all work to be submitted online. I predict as this generation grows up their Smartphones will continue to dominate their lives.

With an increasing number of us using Smartphones throughout the day it’s not surprising mobile advertising is following the trend with expenditure increasing by 82% in 2014.   Content and native advertising (including in-feed) accounted for around half (46%) of mobile display advertising in 2014 while Search advertising remained the largest component of total mobile advertising (at 52%).

The most popular use of a Smartphone is accessing social media sites. Next week I will be giving an insight into how my generation and I use social media…

Siobhan Glover


Ofcom’s Childrens’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014


Ofcom’s The Communications Market Report 2015