Pew Internet Survey

The other day, Pew Internet published their findings from a national telephone survey they performed that involved nearly 2300 adults living in the United States. They asked the questions about their mobile habits from the past 30 days; ranging from messaging habits, to social networking, to types of downloads. They went as far as measuring results by age, ethnicity and type of phone (Smartphone vs. cell phone). Here are some of their key findings from the survey:

  • 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.

Snapping an image and SMS are at the top of the list for both Smartphone and cell phone owners, while the Smartphone users obviously dominate social networking and internet access. To be honest, I would have thought that more people would have admitted to pretending to be using their phone to avoid human contact. Who wants to interact face to face anymore right? How would you have responded to the questions in the survey?

Check out the full report from Pew Internet and American Life Project