NEW YORK (MainStreet) — For some time now, our cellphones have taken on many more tasks than just making calls. The devices, it seems, are both a blessing and a curse.
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, many Americans admit that they would have difficulty getting through the day without their cellphones, relying on the devices to get information they need right away, contact people in emergency situations and simply stave off boredom.
Interestingly, some people even copped to using mobile phones as a way to prevent unwanted personal interactions. Pew found that 13% of cell owners have pretended to use their phones to avoid actually talking to the people around them.
“Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information-seeking and communicating,” the report reads. “These devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners’ daily lives.”
However, as varied as our uses for a cellphone are, Pew also found that many Americans aren’t exactly thrilled with being dependent on mobile devices.
Twenty-nine percent of survey participants admitted that they’ve turned their phones off for a period of time just to get a break from it, while 46% have felt frustrated by their phones due to long download times, small screens and an inability to send long text messages.
Pew’s report is based on a national telephone survey of 2,277 adults conducted between April 26 and May 22; 1,522 interviews were conducted by landline phone, and 755 interviews were conducted by (you guessed it) cellphone.
The survey found that 83% of adults own some kind of cellphone, and more than one third of them (35%) have a smartphone of some kind. The most common uses for our mobile devices include text messaging (73%), picture taking (73%), sending photos or videos to others (54%) and accessing the Internet (44%).