Study: Cell phone uses increasing; what about for making calls?

New Pew survey finds that people increasingly use their cell phones for all sorts of things, but what about actually making phone calls?

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This Pew study wasn’t designed to examine the rate of usage for the various activities they asked about. They simply asked respondents whether they ever use their cell phone for taking pictures, texting, checking email, etc. They didn’t ask whether people actually used their phones to make calls since, presumably, they all do at some point. But how often do they, is what I’d like to know, and how is that changing over time?

While I wait for such a study to be done (or be brought to my attention), I did my own non-scientific study of cell phone usage in my house. My wife and I each have iPhones and our 13 year-old has a non-smart cell phone. Looking at the usage numbers from my provider for the last month I find that:

  • I made/received 9 phone calls and sent/received 42 texts
  • My wife made/received 33 phone calls and sent/received 128 texts
  • Our daughter made/received 110 phone calls and sent/received 797 (!) texts

What to take from this small sample? Couple of things:

  1. Women make more phone calls on their cell phones than men
  2. While texting is more popular than making phone calls across the board, the ratio is much greater for teenagers than 40-somethings (7x vs 4x)
  3. If it weren’t for unlimited texting plans, we’d be broke

Hopefully, Pew is already working on a new study that will expand on my findings.

What are your favorite (or most frequent) activities on your cell phone? Do you find yourself making fewer calls as time goes by? Please share.

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