Snapping Pics, Text Messaging Dominate Cell Phone Usage

Way back in the old days, phones were used for making voice-to-voice calls. That's even true of the first cell phones. How rudimentary we were back then! Today, almost every mobile phone owner uses their cell phone to take picture and send or receive text messages, while at least half also access the Internet to send or receive email.

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project obtained readings on some of the most popular mobile phone activities based on interviews of 2,581 cell phone owning adults age 18 and older. Here's how it breaks down:
  • 82 percent: Take a picture
  • 80 percent: Send or receive text messages
  • 56 percent: Access the Internet
  • 50 percent: Send or receive email
  • 44 percent: Record video
  • 43 percent: Download apps
  • 31 percent: Look for health or medical information online
  • 29 percent: Check bank account balance or do any online banking

Image Source: Flickr (Jhaymesisvidphotography)

These activities are most popular among men and women between the ages of 18-29. Among that demographic, 94 percent use their cell phone to take pictures and 97 percent send and receive text messages. There's a precipitous drop off among seniors 65-years-old and older. In that demographic, 44 percent take pictures on their cell phones, and a little over a third -- 34 percent -- use it for text messaging.