How do cell phones affect our lives? A new study shows mobile users assessment of the best and worst aspects of owning a cell phone. Do we feel obliged to be connected and available? Do our mobiles save or waste time? Do they make life easier?
Some 85% of American adults own a cell phone. Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project published today a new study, “The Best (and Worst) of Mobile Connectivity” presenting information of the impact of cell phones on users’ lives. The results reported come from a nationwide survey of 2,254 adults (age 18 and older) between March 15-April 3, 2012.
Some key research areas include:
1. Users personal assessments of the best and worst aspects of owning a cell phone.
2. Whether cell phones save time or waste time.
3. What aspects of life they make easier.
4. What aspects of life they make more difficult or more challenging.
5. If cell owners feel they have to be constantly available for their friends and family members.
When asked to describe in their own words what they like most about owning a cell phone:
• 17% say the best thing is that it is convenient.
• 12% like the ability to call or talk with others at any time.
• 11% like that they can help them get assistance in an emergency.
• 9% say that using the Internet, email, or apps is the best thing.
• 8% cite the ability to connect with family.
When asked what they like least about owning a cell phone:
• 24% say being constantly available and being reached at any time.
• 15% say that the cost of owning a cell phone.
• 12% say bad reception, poor signal, or dropped calls.
• 8% say problems with battery life.
• 8% say interruptions from telemarketers and other unwanted callers.
For many cell owners, their phone is an essential device that they check frequently:
• 67% check for messages, alerts, or calls — even when their phone isn't ringing or vibrating.
• 44% have slept with their phone next to their bed so they didn’t miss calls, text messages, or other updates.
• 29% describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”
Read the full report