Weather’s big blow to phone users

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HOW people use their mobile phones varies 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 weather, callers tended to withdraw away from their wider network of ­acquaintances.

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

“The weather is well-known to influence human behaviour. Our mood, health and how active we are all vary with it.

“Our research suggests our mobile phone addiction is also susceptible to changes in the weather.

“We found 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, Portugal.