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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Half of Americans say they can’t go a day without a smartphone

Andrew Selepak, director of the online master’s program in social media at UF, said his smartphone is always a reach away — a constant companion.   

“Without the phone, I’m giving up so much,” Selepak said. “It’s not just Candy Crush. It’s the most significant way I communicate with people in the most meaningful ways. I can do so much with my phone that I can’t do with my laptop.” 

A recent survey by Bank of America Corp. said that 47 percent of Americans — just like Selepak — “couldn’t last more than one day without their smartphone.” 

The survey, “Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report,” published on June 30, questioned 1,000 participants about their daily phone usage. 

Kara Watford, a 21-year-old UF health education senior, spends at least three hours a day surfing the Internet on her smartphone. She said she uses her phone so often because her “computer sucks,” and her phone accesses the Internet more quickly.       

The survey also said that Florida was the “least likely to adopt emerging technology.”

Selepak said the younger a person is, and the more financially secure, the more a person is likely to adopt a new technology. 

The survey found that 79 percent of participants would give up alcohol or chocolate in order to get their phone back if it was taken unexpectedly. 

Mitch Schafer, a 51-year-old high school teacher from New Port Richey, Florida, attending Preview with his daughter, said he wouldn’t trade anything to get his cellphone back. 

“I’d go back to my Neanderthal ways,” he said.  

A portion of the survey results focused on the use of smartphones in managing finances. 

Regardless of how you use your phone, smartphones and other mobile technologies allow “the means to communicate on a grander scale with greater ease,” Selepak said.

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[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 7/8/2014 under the headline "Half of Americans say they can’t go a day without a smartphone"]

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