There's a quote from Louis C.K. that is really spot on: "People say, 'My phone sucks. No, it doesn’t! The shittiest cellphone in the world is a miracle. Your life sucks. Around the phone."
What he is really trying to say there is that people who have unfulfilling lives can't fill that void simply by purchasing the latest iPhone, but the general point still stands: cell having a phone that can connect to the Internet is an amazing thing. And it is rapidly changing the world, giving Internet access to those who normally would not be able to afford it.
Case in point, just look at how many people are now turning their phones into the latest version of personal computer: Almost two-thirds, 63%, of all cell phone users now use the device to go online, according to a new study out from Pew Research Center on Monday.
Since 91% of Americans are now cell phone users, that means that 57% of the entire adult population in America is now using a cell phone to go online. That is an inredible number, especially when you look at how it has been growing.
The percentage Internet accessing cell phone users has more than doubled since 2009, when only 31% were doing so, and is up 8% just from last year alone. Pew based their findings on the responses from 2,252 adults, all over 18.
Even more importantly, though, is the number of people who are using their phone as their primary device for online access. That is where the real change is coming from.
Over a third, 34%, of those who use their phones for Internet access say that their phone was the device they used most often. That adds up to 21% of the entire cell phone owner population.
And when you look at those who are primarily using the Internet on their phone, it becomes clear why this is so important: contrary to what you might have though, these are people who are actually less well off.
As you could have guessed, tend to be young, with half of cell internet users ages 18-29 mostly use their cell phone to go online.
But they also are typically minorities, with 60% of Hispanics, and 43% of African-Americans using their phone as their primary device for Internet access, compared to only 27% of causcasians. And they also tended to be less-educated, with 45% of cell internet users with a high school diploma or less mostly use their phone to go online, compared with 21% of those with a college degree.
While Pew did not break down the figures, the study also said these people tended to be on the lower end of the income scale.
Cell phones are giving Internet access to those who may not have had it before, making them a great equalizer for people on the lower end of the education and income levels.
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