Charting America's Obsession With Gadgets
Can't go to bed without first spending 10 minutes on and then sleeping next to your smart, or cell, phone? You are not alone. According to a recent Pew study, America has never been more wired, or rather, unwired to some form of constant form of telecommunications. Among the findings: 91% of all American adults have a cell phone, with this number rising if one is male (93%), black non-Hispanic (93%), is between 18-29 (97%), college graduated (95%), lives in a city (92%), and makes over $75,000 (98%). But that's just the tip of the iceberg. As the chart below shows, Americans have never owned more, or had a broader selection of gadgets to chose from, than they do now.
Some additional findings:
- 56% of American adults have a smartphone
- 28% of cell owners own an Android; 25% own an iPhone; 4% own a Blackberry
- 24% of Americans ages 16 and older own an e-reader
- 35% of Americans ages 16 and older own a tablet computer
- 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
- 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night.
- 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without."
- 34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
- 74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.
- Among adult social media users ages 18 and older, 30% say that at least one of their accounts is currently set up to include their location in their posts.
- 12% of adult smartphone owners say they use a geosocial service to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends, down from 18% in early 2012.
- Among these geosocial service users, 39% say they check into places on Facebook, 18% say they use Foursquare, and 14% say they use Google Plus, among other services.
- Coordinate a meeting or get-together -- 41% of cell phone owners have done this in the past 30 days.
- Solve an unexpected problem that they or someone else had encountered -- 35% have used their phones to do this in the past 30 days.
- Decide whether to visit a business, such as a restaurant -- 30% have used their phone to do this in the past 30 days.
- Find information to help settle an argument they were having -- 27% haveused their phone to get information for that reason in the past 30 days.
- Look up a score of a sporting event -- 23% have used their phone to do that in the past 30 days.
- Get up-to-the-minute traffic or public transit information to find the fastest way to get somewhere -- 20% have used their phone to get that kind of information in the past 30 days.
- Get help in an emergency situation -- 19% have used their phone to do that in the past 30 days.
And in table format - The demographic breakdown of cell and smartphone owners (May 2013):
How Americans use their cell phones (activities):
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