Mobile phone use changes with the weather

Mobile phone habits can change with the weather, a study has found.

When it is cold, or uncomfortably hot and sticky, people are more likely to make longer calls to close friends and family, scientists have discovered.

During unpleasant wea-ther, callers tended to withdraw from their wider network of acquaintances.

Lead researcher Dr Santi Phithakkitnukoon, from the University of Newcastle, said: “The fact that mobile phones have become an indispensable part of many people’s lives means that they provide an opportunity to measure human beha-viour and social dynamics, like never before.

“Our mood, health and how active we are all vary with the weather.

“We found that during uncomfortable weather our ‘ringing anyone’ behaviour declined.”

The research was published in the online journal Public Library of Science, ONE.

Dr Phithakkitnukoon’s team analysed the call patterns of almost 23,000 mobile phone users in Lisbon.

Examining anonymised data records, they categorised calls into “strong” and “weak” social ties.

“Strong ties are people who are socially close to us and whose social circles closely overlap with our own,” said Dr Phithakkitnukoon.

Under uncomfortable weather conditions, there was an increased chance of calls exceeding six minutes, the study showed.

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