Monday, April 17, 2006

Technology and Social Interaction -- Cell Phone Edition

On Thursday, we discussed a variety of ways that technology changed social interaction. One of the technologies that we discussed was the cell phone. The Pew Internet and American Life Project provides some basic facts about cell phones and their effect on social connections in this report. Here are a few of the relevant findings:

The cell phone has become an integral and, for some, essential communications tool that has helped owners gain help in emergencies. Fully 74% of the Americans who own mobile phones say they have used their hand-held device in an emergency and gained valuable help.

Another striking impact of mobile technology is that Americans are using their cell phones to shift they way they spend their time. Some 41% of cell phone owners say they fill in free time when they are traveling or waiting for someone by making phone calls. And 44% say they wait to make most of their cell calls for the hours when they do not count against their “anytime” minutes in their basic calling plan.

The PEW center has a number of interesting data sets that might provide interesting information to examine for your term papers.

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