Cell phones have gone a long, long way since the days when they were too bulky to carry around. Back in the day, it was such an uncommon sight to see people staring intensely at a small (or rather huge) block of plastic, pressing buttons, or doing whatever it is they did on their mobile phones. Today, cell phones are more ubiquitous than sliced bread, and they can do practically everything – from sending text messages to taking pictures to browsing the Internet to playing games. But what do we really use cell phones for?

people using their mobile phones

Respected research entity, Pew Internet, has released the results of a study, which takes a look at just how Americans use their cell phones in 2013. The results are not exactly intuitive, with sending and receiving text messages topping the list.

According to the results, 91% of American adults own a cell phone, and yes, they do more with their devices than make calls. The break down of cell phone use in 2013:

  • 81% of cell phone owners send or receive text messages
  • 60% of cell phone owners access the internet
  • 52% send or receive email
  • 50% download apps
  • 49% get directions, recommendations, or other location-based information
  • 48% listen to music
  • 21% participate in a video call or video chat
  • 8% “check in” or share their location.

It is worth noting that that Internet use is not that far away of sending and receiving text messages. With the trend of going mobile for email and Internet browsing, I don’t think that anyone will be surprised to see those numbers go up in the next few years. Another important factor here is the cost, availability, and efficiency of telco data services, which should only improve in the coming years.

We should also not overlook the fact that this study was conducted in April/May of this year. Who knows what changes have happened since then?

What do you do on your cell phone most?

[Image via Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ]