Cell Phone Use Survey: Majority of People Use Cell Phones While Watching TV

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Posted Jul 25, 2012
Anne Pilon

According to a recent Pew Research study, more Americans are beginning to use their cell phones while doing other activities such as watching TV. Some of those users talk to friends while others look up information using their smartphones. And sometimes the cell phone use actually relates to the shows they’re watching. So how are Americans using their phones while watching TV? And does cell phone use vary among those who have smartphones and those who don’t?

cell phone use

Smart Phone Use

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 45% of American consumers said they currently own a smartphone. 48% said they do not own a smartphone. And just 7% said they don’t own a cell phone at all. Men were slightly more likely to own smartphones, as well as cell phones in general. And respondents under 34 were 15% more likely to own smartphones, but just as likely as the entire survey panel to own cell phones in general.

Cell Phone Use

Overall, 24% of cell phone users said they often use their phones while they watch TV. 42% said they sometimes use their phones while watching TV. Just 5% said they only use their cell phones during commercials. And 29% of cell phone users said they never use their phones while they watch TV. Smartphone users were 19% more likely to use their cell phones often while they watch TV, and 21% more likely to ever use their cell phones while watching TV.68% of those who do use their cell phones while watching TV said they use them to text. 54% said they make phone calls while watching TV. 35% said they use their phones to look up information while they’re watching TV. 31% check social media on their phones while they’re watching TV. And 20% use their phones for other things. Smartphone users were more likely to text, use social media, and look up information while watching TV, but less likely to make phone calls.


So how often do these activities have to do with the television show being watched? 53% of respondents said their phone activities never deal with what they’re watching on TV. 24% said they often talk to others about what they’re watching. Another 24% said they often look up information on their phones about what they’re watching. And 16% said they make posts on social media about what they’re watching.You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.Photo Credit: Family Togetherness from FlickrWhat do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on July 24, 2012 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

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