American Cell Phone Use and "Unwanted" Interactions
Pew’s new study Americans and Their Cell Phones puts numbers to some of the things we’re all wondering about. Reminiscent of the great work done by The Gregory Brothers, Winning - A Song by Charlie Sheen, and the winning line “Pretending to Text to Avoid Someone”, Pew tells us that
“Cell phones can help prevent unwanted personal interactions – 13% of cell owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them.”
We also learn that
Cell phones are useful for quick information retrieval (so much so that their absence can cause problems) – 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.
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.
Without pay phones and easy ways to gather what should be freely available information, absent kiosks with maps or even, perhaps, police officers and other civil servants in plain view, it’s clear that people are becoming more dependent on their cell phones for critical information.
And no doubt service providers are excited to learn about the upswing in texting, since most all plans in the U.S. charge for both sending and receiving text messages… ca-ching!