Bystanders: 15 percent of the U.S. adult population
Bystanders are the least connected. Two in three (67 percent) own desktop computers but they have the lowest ownership of laptops (48 percent) and only about one in ten (12 percent) owns a smartphone. They use technology to connect with family and friends less than three (2.8) times each day, which is five times less than the national average (15.7). When they do use technology, they use it to receive information and are the most likely group to say they use technology primarily to keep up with news and current events (31 percent).
Never Minders: 2 percent of the U.S. adult population
This group represents a small segment of the U.S. population who are outliers; they do not use phone, text, or social media to connect to others. This group is apprehensive about using technology and is more likely than the other groups to say that technology makes them feel more isolated (47 percent). When they do connect, they are more likely to do so out of necessity. They are more likely to say they connect to tell friends and family what they are doing (22 percent), to get ahead at work (13 percent) and to not miss out on fun activities (13 percent).Top Habits of Highly Connected People The study's findings reveal the connectivity habits of the approximately one in ten (8 percent) who are the most connected – the "Always On" Americans. The Always On not only own more devices and are more active on social media than the average American, but also use technology to actively initiate conversation, whether by posting original commentary to the web, making many phone calls throughout the day, or sending picture messages to their friends. Demographically, the Always On are more likely to be female or Millennial, and are more likely to have children than other Connectivity segments. The most common connectivity habits of Always On are:
- Gear up for being on the go. Mobile devices are an integral part of the Always On lifestyle.
- The typical member of this group does not own just one device, but rather owns more than four different devices (4.1), which is more than one device greater than the national average (2.8).
- They lead the pack in virtually all types of device ownership, especially laptops (81 percent own them), smartphones (72 percent), DVRs (64 percent) and tablets (46 percent).
- But don't assume they own a desktop – only 62 percent do, the lowest level of ownership across the seven personality types.
- Keep your friends close and your devices closer. The Always On put a premium on technology that keeps them connected when on the go.
- Most Americans say that they are most concerned about losing their purse or wallet when traveling (52 percent), but the Always On are most concerned about losing their mobile phone (36 percent). The Always On would also rather lose their luggage, car keys or house keys than a cell phone or laptop.
- Half (51 percent) say they have lost their phone or Internet connection and have experienced "withdrawal symptoms," which is twice the national average (26 percent).
- Compared to the national average, more than twice as many Always On have been asked to put down their phone when eating with friends or family (37 percent).
- Stay in touch, from a distance. For most Americans, screen time is preferred to face time when interacting with others, but the Always On exhibit this behavior in the extreme.
- Three out of four Always On (76 percent) prefer to use technology, such as email, phone or text messaging, to connect to their friends rather than in-person communication; and two-thirds prefer to use technology to communicate with their co-workers (66 percent) and family (62 percent).
- By comparison, two-thirds of American adults favor remote technology over in-person contact when communicating with friends (65 percent), three in five favor it when talking with co-workers (60 percent) and half prefer technology when communicating with family (54 percent).
- Acquire affection from afar. The Always On prefer to connect to those they care about from a distance, and feel closer doing so.
- Nine out of ten (88 percent) Always On say that new technology makes them feel closer to family and friends, as opposed to feeling more isolated (12 percent).
- This is higher than any of the other segments, as well as 12 points higher than the national average (76 percent).
- 47 percent of the least connected among us – the 2 percent of Americans who do not use phone, text, or email to communicate – report that new technology makes them feel more isolated.
- Keep them posted. Always On have a behavioral preference for self-expression.
- While most Always On use technology to receive updates from family and friends, they are also more likely than any other group to primarily use technology to broadcast what they are doing (22 percent).
- Reach out. Always On use technology to make new connections.
- Most people use technology to stay in touch with people they know (91 percent). However, twice as many Always On are using new technology to connect to people that they want to know (19 percent), compared to the average.
- Plug in for a power lunch.
- The Always On are most connected at noon, when more than nine in ten (93 percent) are using a digital device.
- During the lunch hour, Always On are more likely than the other segments to be using their mobile phones (36 percent).