There are over a billion people worldwide that now have smartphones. According to research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 58% of Americans own a smartphone. Another Pew survey revealed 46% of smartphone users also said they “couldn’t live without” their device. A great deal has to with how much people check in with work on their phones during meals, in bed, when sick, and even on vacation. In fact, the average mobile phone user checks their device 150 times a day.
On an average day, millennials (39 %) interact with their smartphone more than anything or anyone else. Many (29 %) Americans mimic this behavior, and are twice as likely to interact with their mobile over their children (15 %).
While texting, talking, emailing, and going online dominate, a majority of Americans also use their smartphones for social networking, taking photos or videos, and catching up with the news.
Our reliance on smartphones is bound to deepen, according to Gallup, as phones add even more features—such as universal Wi-Fi, improved voice control, and wallet and online shopping capabilities.
Five Big Reasons
Some findings from the third annual Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report highlight our overwhelming reliance on mobile, even when we’re around friends and family.
Here are top five reasons Americans are not putting down their devices:
- To Avoid Talking
Forty percent of millennials admit to using their smartphone to escape a conversation. Nearly three in 10 (29 %) Americans cite texting as their preferred method of conversing with others, compared to 38% who prefer talking in person, and 21% for over the telephone. What’s more, 67% of Americans feel the appropriate response time to a text is under an hour.
- To Get Directions
The majority (66%) of Americans prefer to turn entirely to their mobile device for getting directions, and 53% trust their mobile more than loved ones for directional advice.
- Taking Selfies
The majority (89%) of Americans want to capture life events on their smartphone, with vacations at 72% and holidays at 63% topping the list. It’s also likely that most everyone in the family is snapping a selfie. Exactly half (50%) of seniors and 61% of baby boomers report taking selfies, as do almost all (93%) millennials.
- Engaging in Politics
Roughly 51% of Americans say they will use their smartphone to engage with the upcoming election cycle, with researching the issues (27%), tracking the results (26%), and following the candidates (25%) as the most popular activities.
- Separation Anxiety
Many consumers feel anxious (about 29%) and bored (22%) when they don’t have access to their smartphone. Younger millennials (ages 18-24) are the most likely to experience these emotions at 39% and 43%, respectively.