Americans, it seems, are very attached to their smartphones. According to the latest stats from the Harvard University-based Pew Research Study, Mobile Devices, be they smartphones, Tablets or in-between devices like Phablets are using them more than ever to access the Internet.
These Pew Research Studies are interesting, as it gives us as Jamaican an idea of what’s in store for us when we eventually achieve smartphone penetration levels similar to that of our most northerly neighbor.
Pew Research Study on Smartphone Use in 2015 – Why Middle-Income Millennial Minorities love Mobile Internet
The Harvard University-based Pew Research Study revealed that Americans use smartphones as their main source of Internet access:
- 64% of Americans own a smartphone
- 10% of smartphone owners do not have broadband at home
- 15% of smartphone users have limited access to alternative means of getting online
- 20% of smartphone users do not have access Broadband or have limited access to alternative means of getting online
Thus, for these Americans, their smartphone is their main way to get online and may be true for many Jamaicans. Jamaica still has low levels of Internet Access despite arguments from Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell downplaying OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) claims in February 2015 of 37.35% internet penetration and 878,000 mobile data subscribers.
For Americans, the reasons for their dependence on Mobile Internet differ initially across financial demographics, as the Pew Research Study reveals:
- 13% of Americans earning less than US$30,000 per year were completely dependent on their smartphones
- 1% of Americans earning less than US$75,000 and up per year were completely dependent on their smartphones
Age and Race, however, are also minor factors as well:
- 15% of Americans were heavily dependent on their smartphones for Internet access were 18 and 29 years old
Interestingly, among that age demographic uses their Smartphone mainly for Social Media:
- 91% of smartphone users between 18 and 29 years old use Social Networks at least once during the study
- 55% of those of smartphone users 50 and older use Social Networks at least once during the study
Minorities seem a lot more dependent on Smartphone than Whites, a surprising statistic that came out of the Pew Research Study:
- 12% of African Americans were heavily dependent on their smartphones for Internet access
- 13% of Latinos were heavily dependent on their smartphones for Internet access
- 4% of Whites were heavily dependent on their smartphones for Internet access
So not only are the Mobile Internet dependent likely to be poor, but they tend to be African-American and Latino Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and Millennials (ages 18 to 28) who while away their time on Social Media.
Most of them, due to their impoverished situation, cannot afford to keep up with their expensive Data Plans:
- 48% of these smartphone-dependent American had to cancel their Data Plans because they cannot afford the monthly fees
- 30% exceed their Data Caps
- 51% says they exceed their Data Caps very frequently
Sounds a lot like Jamaican smartphone usage habits doesn’t it?
American smartphone-dependent usage – News, avoid boredom because of the FOMO
So what do the smartphone dependent do on their smartphones aside from Social Media?
Turns out that they do a lot more than play Candy Crush saga or updating their Facebook Profiles, checking out the latest Tweets from celebrities or sending nude photos of themselves on Snapchat:
- 62% use their smartphones to look up health conditions
- 57% use their smartphones for online Banking
- 44% use their smartphones to look up real estate listings or places to rent
- 43% use their smartphones to look for a job
- 40% use their smartphones to find government services or information.
- 30% use their smartphones for Distance Learning
- 18% use their smartphones to submit a job application
When it comes to avoid the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), the Mobile Internet is still the No. 1 ways to get the 411 on what’s happening in their community as a previous Pew study back in April 2014 titled Pew Research posits 3 in 10 get their News via Facebook as Paper set to go live:
- 68% use their smartphones occasionally to follow along with breaking news events
- 33% use their smartphones frequently to follow along with breaking news events
- 67% use their smartphones occasionally to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community
- 35% use their smartphones frequently to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community
- 56% use their smartphones occasionally to learn about community events or activities
- 18% use their smartphones frequently to learn about community events or activities
So Smartphones help Teenagers and Millennials avoid the FOMO. I’d thought that was the case as explained in an earlier theory I had back in May2011 as explained in my article Social Network Prostitution: FOMO drives Millennials to “Inboxing” on what Jamaican Teenagers also did on Social Media via their smartphones!
Americans addicted to their smartphones – Jamaican slowly Addicted to our Precious as 4G LTE coming
Overall, Americans are addicted to their smartphones and other mobile devices with 3G or 4G LTE Internet for News and Navigation, making them an indispensable tool:
- 70% follow breaking news on their smartphones and sharing thoughts on news stories with friends
- 25% use their smartphones for Turn-by-turn navigation instructions and public transit directions
- 50% of Americans in the survey say they cannot live without their smartphones
Dear reader, are you addicted to your smartphone? It is your precious, Lord of the Rings Smeagle Style as Jamaica prepares for 4G LTE from Digicel and LIME.
Leave a comment at the end of this article if these statistics ring true for you, be ye Jamaican or American.
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