Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pew Internet: The Mobile Difference

Pew Internet & American Life Project / WASHINGTON, DC / Mar 25, 2009 / The Mobile Difference

Some 39% of Americans have positive and improving attitudes about their mobile communication devices, which in turn draws them further into engagement with digital resources – on both wireless and wireline platforms.

Mobile connectivity is now a powerful differentiator among technology users. Those who plug into the information and communications world while on-the-go are notably more active in many facets of digital life than those who use wires to jack into the internet and the 14% of Americans who are off the grid entirely.

“For a sizable minority of Americans, mobile connectivity expands their digital horizons as they do more with their suite of wireline and wireless tools,” said John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet Project and author of the typology report.

“Mobile services complement existing broadband assets, and these Americans find it increasingly hard to be without their connectivity traveling with them as they go.”

These findings are the centerpiece of a new typology of technology users released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The typology places information and communication technology (ICT) users into ten categories built around their assets (the gadgets they have), actions (how they use ICTs), and attitudes (how they feel about the role of ICTs in their lives).

Most wireless Americans view the mobile accelerant to their digital habits positively.

  • Some 8% of adults – whom we call Digital Collaborators – delve deeply into digital lifestyles to collaborate with other users to create content and express themselves online.

  • Another 7% – the group we’ve named Media Movers – use their information gadgets as a platform to share digital content with others.

  • Another 9% – called the Roving Nodes – employ mobile connectivity to enhance personal productivity.

  • For others, the tools of connectivity produce tensions. One group we call Ambivalent Networkers is made up of 7% of Americans who like to use mobile connections for social networking but sometimes lament being so available to others.
  • An additional 8% – the Mobile Newbies – are just becoming accustomed to using cell phones, but thus far like very much how mobile devices help them stay in touch with others/

  • The remaining 61% of adult Americans are the stationary media majority.

Many in these groups are content to be tethered to a broadband connection for communication and information gathering. Members of the five groups that make up the stationary media majority use their mobile devices mainly for phone calling, rarely for internet access, and often find incoming messages intrusive.



See Also

Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference


Full Report AND Survey Questions Available From


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