Greeks prefer mobiles to Net

An overwhelming majority of Greeks – including a large proportion of very young children – own a mobile telephone but the country remains a European laggard in terms of computer and Internet use, according to the results of a survey conducted by pollsters VPRC and made public in Sunday’s Kathimerini. Fewer than one in three (27.3 percent) of Greeks use a computer and just one in five (19.5 percent) surf the Internet, according to the poll conducted on behalf of the Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) on a sample of 2,741 Greeks last November. The majority of those that go online (28.6 percent) do so for entertainment purposes. The amount of people shopping online is negligible. Moreover, the trend for a small growth in computer use in Greece that had been observed between 2001 and 2003 appears to have stalled – a fact that VPRC President Yiannis Mavris attributes to Greece’s inability to effectively absorb new technologies. «The adverse economic situation certainly has a negative impact, but there is also a cultural shortfall,» Mavris said. «Even young people are not seduced by new technologies the way they were five years ago,» he added. However, Greeks’ well-known fixation with mobile phones appears to be growing incessantly, with 83.4 percent of respondents aged between 15 and 65 owning at least one mobile phone, a huge leap from the figure of 59.4 percent recorded in 2001. But the study’s most startling revelations on the level of mobile use relate to children: One in two (48.5 percent) children aged between 10 and 14 – and 7.2 percent of children aged between five and nine – are said to own a mobile. Further, children appear to have an unhealthy attachment to their mobile phones, with 72.1 percent describing it as «very important» to them, as compared to 35 percent of adults.

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