Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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AMERICANS AND THEIR CELL PHONE HABITS

August 15th, 2011 · No Comments · Technology

Americans Lady Gaga and Beyonce and their Cell Phone Habits

Americans Lady Gaga and Beyonce and their Cell Phone Habits

Before my life as an Insurance Agent, I was enmeshed in the culture of cell phones and mobile marketing for over 5 years. My partners and I developed cutting edge technology that fell short of patentability. But I keep my eyes open for anything having to do with streaming media, mobile video and texting programs.

Now comes a new report from PEW entitled AMERICANS AND THEIR CELL PHONES which which provides an insightful look at Americans and their Cell Phone habits.

I somehow bought in early on to the smart phone craze. In fact at one point I had 9 cell phones. The video was awful, the interfaces terrible and the speed slow. Now all of that has changed. What I like the most about the iPhone and my Droid X (can’t believe I’m actually writing an article praising these devices), are that I can listen to my music, use the navigation, get stock quotes, read books, watch and even upload to youtube, publish my blog, take HD videos, scribble notes and a lot more. So the money, as long as the data and the SD card don’t grind to a halt, is worth it.

Here is a summary from their website. To see the entire report click on the graphic below.

Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information-seeking and communicating: 83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone. These devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners’ daily lives. In a telephone survey conducted from April 26 to May 22, 2011 among a nationally-representative sample of Americans, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that, during the 30 days preceding the interview:

Cell phones are useful for quick information retrieval (so much so that their absence can cause problems) – Half of all adult cell owners (51%) had used their phone at least once to get information they needed right away. One quarter (27%) said that they experienced a situation in the previous month in which they had trouble doing something because they did not have their phone at hand.

Cell phones are an important tool in emergency situations – 40% of cell owners said they found themselves in an emergency situation in which having their phone with them helped.

Cell phones can help stave off boredom – 42% of cell owners used their phone for entertainment when they were bored.

Despite their advantages, some cell phone owners just need an occasional break – 29% of cell owners turned their phone off for a period of time just to get a break from using it.

With advantages comes frustration – 20% of cell owners experienced frustration because their phone was taking too long to download something; 16% had difficulty reading something on their phone because the screen was too small; and 10% had difficulty entering a lot of text on their phone.

Cell phones can help prevent unwanted personal interactions – 13% of cell owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them.

Young adults (those between the ages of 18 and 29) are especially likely to say that they have encountered several of these situations recently:

70% of 18-29 year old cell owners have used their phone for entertainment when they were bored
64% have used their phone to quickly retrieve information they needed
42% have had trouble doing something because they did not have their phone nearby
30% have used their phone to avoid interacting with the people around them
Text messaging and picture taking are the most common uses of cell phones outside of voice calls; Smartphone owners take advantage of a wide range of their phones’ capabilities

Text messaging and picture taking continue to top the list of ways that Americans use their mobile phones—three quarters of all cell owners (73%) use their phones for each of these purposes. Other relatively common activities include sending photos or videos to others (54% of cell owners do this) as well as accessing the internet (44%).

One third of American adults (35%) own a smartphone of some kind%%TOKEN%%, and these users take advantage of a wide range of their phones’ capabilities. Fully nine in ten smartphone owners use text messaging or take pictures with their phones, while eight in ten use their phone to go online or send photos or videos to others. Many activities—such as downloading apps, watching videos, accessing social networking sites or posting multimedia content online—are almost entirely confined to the smartphone population.

What do you like about your phone? What do you hate? Please leave a comment.

Americans and their Cell Phones

Americans and their Cell Phones

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