ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media
Mobile phone owners like the convenience and ease of connectivity, but rue that they can be interrupted more easily, have to pay the bills, and face bad connections.
Some 85% of American adults now own a cell phone of some kind, and these devices mean many things to their owners: an always-available link to friends and family, a pocket computer, or a time-saving tool — even an actual telephone. When asked to describe in their own words what they like most about owning a cell phone:
- 17% of cell owners say the best thing about their phone is that it is convenient.
- 12% like the ability to call or talk with others at any time.
- 11% like that their cell phone can help them get assistance in an emergency.
- 9% say that using the internet, email, or apps is the best thing about their mobile phone.
- 8% cite the ability to connect with family.
The word cloud below illustrates some of the more common responses to this question:
However, the convenience and constant connectivity that these mobile devices offer also comes with a downside in the form of annoyances, interruptions, and cost. When asked what they like least about owning a cell phone:
- 24% of cell owners say that the worst thing about cell ownership is that they are constantly available and can be reached at any time.
- 15% say that the cost of cell ownership is the thing they like least.
- 12% cite problems with bad reception, poor signal, or dropped calls.
- 8% cite problems with battery life as the thing they like the least.
- 8% point to interruptions from telemarketers and other unwanted callers as their primary annoyance.
The word cloud below illustrates some of the more common complaints:
Overall, cell owners are far more likely to view their phone as a time-saver than as a time-waster. Some 33% of cell owners agree with the statement that their phone “saves you time because they can always access the information you need,” while just 3% agree with the statement that their phone “costs you time because you are constantly being distracted or interrupted.” The largest proportion of cell owners (56%) say that the time costs and time savings offered by cell phones pretty much balance each other out.
You can find the study via Overview | Pew Internet & American Life Project.