I want to be alone (with my cellphone)

August 17, 2011

These days, a cell phone is much more than a method of communication. In fact, a new study shows it’s being used as just the opposite. According to a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 13 percent of mobile owners pretend to be on their cell phone in order to avoid social interaction.

Out of the 2,277 people surveyed, younger cell phone users were most likely to have used this avoidance method – 30 percent of those between the ages of 18 to 29. In comparison, only 2 percent of those 65 and older have ignored someone by pretending to use their phone.

The survey also revealed people use their phones for:

  • Information retrieval: 51% had used their phone at least once to get information they needed right away
  • Emergencies: 40% of cell owners said their phone helped them in some kind of emergency situation
  • Entertainment: 42% said they used the cell phones to stave off boredom
  • Text messaging and picture taking: 73% of cell phone owners used their devices for each purpose
  • Multimedia: 54% of respondents used their phone to send photos or videos to others, while 44% used their phone to access the Internet

One percentage that is (pleasantly) surprising – 29 percent of cell phone owners reported turning off their phone for a period simply to take a break.


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