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article imageOp-Ed: Americans spend 58 minutes on a smartphone — this is a good thing

By Michael Krebs     Jun 2, 2013 in Technology
A recent study from Experion Marketing Services reported that Americans spend on average 58 minutes a day on their smartphones, but television viewing habits remain the larger concern.
With wider distribution of 3G and 4G mobile broadband services nationally and the increased competition among smartphone manufacturers, it is little wonder that Americans are using smartphones with greater frequency. In fact, a recent study from Experion Marketing Services found that Americans spend roughly 58 minutes per day in smartphone usage.
There were also considerable differences between iPhone and Android smartphone users.
"For starters, iPhone users spend an hour and fifteen minutes using their phones per day, a full 26 minutes more than the typical Android phone owner," Experion reported. "Additionally, iPhone and Android smartphone owners use their phones in markedly different ways. For instance, 28% of the time that Android users spend using their phones is dedicated to talking, whereas iPhone users spend only 22% of their smartphone time talking on the device. Android owners also devote a greater share of time visiting websites on their phone than iPhone owners. On the other hand, iPhone owners spend a disproportionately greater share of smartphone time than Android owners texting, emailing, using the camera and social networking."
On the surface, an hour a day of smartphone usage can be seen as excessive. But smartphone activity is a social activity. Respondents to the Experion survey detailed their usage, reflecting a decidedly social behavior: 26 percent use their smartphone to talk; 20 percent use their smartphone for texting; 16 percent use their smartphone for social networking.
Additionally, beyond social connectivity, smartphones deliver information. 14 percent of those surveyed by Experion use their smartphone to browse web sites, and 9 percent reported usage for email. Only 8 percent of respondents reported smartphone usage for gaming.
Smartphone usage also affords an almost infinite freedom. They are untethered devices that are designed specifically to provide a rich mobile experience, and this serves American culture well - as mobility is a direct affront to the stoic behaviors that breed obesity.
And the obesity challenge leads us to a more disturbing behavior that the Experion study did not address: Americans still spend far too much time in front of the television. Unlike the social and mobile behaviors inherent to smartphone usage, television consumption is notably anti-social and completely immobile. According to Nielsen figures released in September 2012, Americans spend 34 hours a week watching television, as New York Daily News reported.
While smartphone usage does present some questions, particularly around the radiation that they emit, now measured in Specific Absorption Rates, the benefits - in comparison with the social, mobile, entertainment, and information alternatives offered through television - deliver a better option for a population that is increasingly on the move.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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