As smartphones become more ubiquitous in America, traditional perceptions of connecting to the Internet continue to change. Where once, going online meant sitting at a desktop computer (and later, a laptop), today it increasingly means firing up the browser app on one’s smartphone. A new report finds that nearly one in five Americans depend on their smartphone for Internet connectivity, mainly because of the lack of other available options.
The report focuses on this group, who usually fall into a low-income category, do not have college degrees, are younger than average, and are non-white. They are more dependent on their smartphones than other groups, and their device use is crucial to their everyday life, whether to stay in touch with each other, keep up with local news, or assist with mundane activities like public transit schedules or gathering employment resources.