Could you live without your phone?

About 85 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and nearly a third describe it as something they can’t imagine living without.

Really? I’d bet that second number would be much higher if you surveyed only people living in Silicon Valley, San Francisco or New York.

A new report from the Pew Research Center – released Friday – confirms that mobile gadgets are deeply embedded in the lives of many Americans, not just techies and early adopters.  One interesting thing about their findings is that they reflect broad adoption of what’s already been long-established behavior in some circles.

Among the findings of the Center’s Internet & American Life Project:

  • Two-thirds of all cell phone owners say they find themselves checking their phones for messages or calls even when they haven’t noticed a ring or a buzz.
  • Nearly half of cell owners keep their phones by their beds at night, so they don’t miss any calls or updates.
  • Why so anxious? More than a third of cell owners say that other people have complained because they didn’t respond promptly to calls or texts.

Incidentally, the Pew researchers say that 45 percent of American adults own smartphones. But again, that number seems likely to be much higher around here.

(AP photo by Paul Sakuma)


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