More teens, tweens use smartphones to access Web
The survey, released Wednesday, finds that one in four young people say they access the Internet by "cell-mostly," a percentage that increases to about half when the phone is a smartphone.
In comparison, just 15 percent of adults said they access the Internet mostly by cellphone.
"It's just part of life now," says Donald Conkey, a high school sophomore in Wilmette, Ill., just north of Chicago, who is among the many teens who have smartphones.
"Everyone's about the same now when it comes to their phones - they're on them a lot."
He and other teens say that if you add up all the time they spend using apps and searching for info, texting and downloading music and videos, they're on their phones for at least a couple hours each day. That time is only increasing, they say.
"The occasional day where my phone isn't charged or I leave it behind, it feels almost as though I'm naked in public," says Michael Weller, a senior at New Trier High School, where Conkey also attends. "I really need to have that connection and that attachment to my phone all the time."
According to the survey, older teen girls, ages 14 to 17, were among the most likely to say their phones were the primary way they access the Web.
She says past research also has found that many parents hesitate to confiscate phones as punishment because they want their kids to stay in contact with them.
"Adults are still trying to work out the appropriate rules for themselves, let alone their children," Madden says. "It's a difficult time to be a parent."
And a seemingly difficult time for them to say "no" to a phone, even for kids in elementary school, where the high-tech bling has become a status symbol.
Critical thinking challenge: If teens and tweens are making greater use of phones to access the Internet, what will happen to tablets and laptop computers?
- Posted on March 13, 2013