Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information seeking and communicating—83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone—and these devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners’ daily lives:
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.
40% of cell owners said they found themselves in an emergency situation in which having their phone with them helped.
42% of cell owners used their phone for entertainment when they were bored.
29% of cell owners turned their phone off for a period of time just to get a break from using it.
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.
13% of cell owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them.
Text messaging and picture taking continue to top the list of ways that Americans use their mobile phones—three quarters of all cell owners (73%) use their phones for each of these purposes. Other relatively common activities include sending photos or videos to others (54% of cell owners do this) as well as accessing the internet (44%).
One third of American adults (35%) own a smartphone of some kind , and these users take advantage of a wide range of their phones’ capabilities. Fully nine in ten smartphone owners use text messaging or take pictures with their phones, while eight in ten use their phone to go online or send photos or videos to others. Many activities—such as downloading apps, watching videos, accessing social networking sites or posting multimedia content online—are almost entirely confined to the smartphone population.