Young Brits are potentially losing out on sleep as a result of extreme attachment to their mobile phones. New research from O2 Insurance shows that one in ten (10%) 18-24 year olds who own a mobile phone often wake in the middle of the night to check their phone, while 48% of young phone owners admit it’s the first thing they check when they wake up and 40% said it was the last thing they check before they go to bed.

The new study paints a picture of just how much the younger generation have come to rely on their mobiles:

  • More than 1 in 10 (11%) said that they simply wouldn’t be able to function without their mobile phone
  • Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) would find it more difficult to go without their mobile phone than water for 24 hours
  • More than 1 in 5 (21%) would rather go without food for 24 hours than their mobile phone
  • More than a quarter (27%) said that they would prefer to live without TV than without their mobile

With so many of us keeping valuable information and content stored on our phone, including photos, contacts and apps, almost two thirds (61%) of young phone owners agree that their mobile is now of great sentimental value, with nearly half (45%) saying they would be “devastated” if they lost their personal data.

Despite this, more than half (53%) don’t back up their data and 49% don’t have passwords or security in place. Nearly a third (31%) of young phone owners also said that they don’t have mobile insurance in case it is lost, stolen or damaged and don’t plan to.

Instead, growing numbers of phone owners are taking a variety of rather extreme measures to protect their mobile investment. When asked what measures they would take to protect a brand new phone, almost a third of young phone owners (31%) said they would cover their phone in a protective film and over a quarter (27%) said they would download tracker apps to help find lost handsets. A cautious 18% said that they would not let their family or their children play with their mobile.

Paul Burke, Head of O2 Insurance, said: “Our mobiles are rooted in our day-to-day lives so much that young people are going to extreme lengths to protect them. However, we would urge all phone users to invest in a mobile insurance policy that is simple to understand and replaces your handset in 24 hours. Whereas other providers issue cheques, O2 gets customers up and running quickly by replacing their handset the next day and can offer advice on how to back up any important data so they can get on with enjoying their mobile.”

Psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, said: “Humans are a social species, so it’s no surprise that the mobile phone has become a must-have. As this new O2 Insurance research suggests, dependence on the mobile phone is pronounced among the younger generation. Although, it is important that young people ‘fit in’ when growing up, they should not compromise on basic needs such as sleep and connecting face-to-face.”

From Thursday 11th October for one week, O2 is encouraging its Twitter followers to tweet items that they can’t do without for 24 hours using #livewithout. O2 will select a tweet at random to win a free Samsung Galaxy S III mobile phone. Follow @O2 or visit for more information

O2 Insurance provides customers with a replacement device the next day for over 80% of lost or stolen handsets and can help advise customers on how to back up their important data. More than half a million customers already trust O2 to insure their mobile handsets to get them back up and running quickly and efficiently.

O2 Insurance is available in a range of policies, which are clear and simple to use to help you get back up and running quickly and easily. To find the best policy for you and for full terms and conditions contact O2 Customer Service via 0844 809 0202 or

Ranging from £6 – £12.50, choose from ‘Standard’, ‘Premier’ or ‘Premier for iPhone’ policies to receive the following:

  • Accidental damage
  • Attended theft
  • Loss
  • Accessories (cover amount differs according to policy)
  • Worldwide cover
  • Replacement abroad (‘Premier’ and ‘Premier for iPhone’ only)

Tablet Insurance from O2 Money is the latest addition to a well-established range of insurance products from O2. The insurance is available in two tiers, enabling customers to select the level of cover they’d like, there is no minimum or maximum contract term and worldwide cover is included as standard.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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