Survey: Cellphones a lifeline, boredom staller

Aug 16, 2011 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- If you've ever used a fake cellphone conversation to avoid real-life interactions, you're not alone.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project says that 13 percent of adult mobile phone owners in the U.S. have used the old "I'm on the phone" tactic. Thirty percent among those aged 18 to 29 did that at least once in the previous 30 days.

Just don't forget to silence your ringer first.

In all, 83 percent of Americans reported owning some type of a mobile phone. Of these, more than half said they have used their phones at least once to get information they needed right away. Mobile phones are also becoming tools for handling emergencies. Forty percent of cellphone owners said their phones helped in an emergency.

Phone also proved useful when staving off boredom, as 42 percent of respondents said they used their phones for entertainment when they were bored. The study did not ask whether that meant playing "Angry Birds" or that old standby from the 1990s, "Snake."

It's not that phones are all fun and games, though. Twenty percent of owners said they experienced frustration because their phone was taking too long to download something, and 16 percent said they had problems reading something on their phone because the screen was too small.

In a sign that we are getting increasingly dependent on our mobile gadgets: 42 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 said they had trouble doing something because they didn't have their phone with them.

The national telephone survey was conducted among 2,277 adults from April 26 to May 22 in English and Spanish. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Explore further: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

More information: Online: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phones.aspx

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wiyosaya
not rated yet Aug 16, 2011
"In a sign that we are getting increasingly dependent on our mobile gadgets: 42 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 said they had trouble doing something because they didn't have their phone with them."

IMHO, that is a sad commentary on our society. I suspect it is, however, just what phone makers / cellular providers want to hear. Their clientele is addicted to their cell phones and find it difficult to live without.
Techno1
not rated yet Aug 16, 2011
IMHO, that is a sad commentary on our society. I suspect it is, however, just what phone makers / cellular providers want to hear. Their clientele is addicted to their cell phones and find it difficult to live without.


Actually, some people actually use their phones for work, such as in the IT industry.

Addtionally, people are using them to do all sorts of things beyond just communication.

A pocket computer, which is what a smartphone is, can be used to do all sorts of legitimate work, and replace lots of out-dated tools and communications technology.

The trend of mobile devices becoming omni-gadgets that do everything has probably only just started.
gwrede
not rated yet Aug 17, 2011
IMHO, that is a sad commentary on our society. I suspect it is, however, just what phone makers / cellular providers want to hear. Their clientele is addicted to their cell phones and find it difficult to live without.
It is a commentary on our society, all right. But not sad. More sad is that you need a car and can't leave home without one in America because public transport is unadequate there.

Of course, if you don't own a smartphone, looking at others havin one just looks like they're only playing with them and using them to show off. Once you have one and get used to using it, it feels like having a car. You can get everywhere (get all the information you'd normally need to ask people or look up at the library) and you can do things like move stuff (that is, write documents, have alarms, do bookkeeping) or take friends with you and go to places (chat, email, facebook, tweet).

The world as we know it will end before smartphones become obsolete.