Mobile Future

3 in 10 households get most or all calls on cell phones

As an entrepreneur, a business owner and a mother, I fully admit that my cell phone is my lifeline to the outside world.  Whether I need to get in contact with my daughter when she is on the ski slopes in Montana, or I am attending a wireless convention and need to update my employees on a business matter, my cell phone keeps me connected.  Because my cell phone is constantly by my side, I admit that I frequently use my cell phone as my main phone line in place of my landline.

It seems as if I am not the only one.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the results of its "National Health Interview Survey" and it found that 3 in 10 households get all or most of their calls on their cell phones.  The CDC-conducted survey involved in-person interviews with people in 13,083 households from July through December of last year. While this result may seem obvious, the rationale behind it is equally apparent.  Most Americans have cell phones on them and by their side every moment of the day.  Cell phones can hold hundreds of people’s contact information, and increasing numbers of handsets can connect to the Internet to look up anything that is not already stored in the phone’s database.  This connective ability decreases the need to refer to your phonebook or personal address book when you want to call Aunt Sally or book a dentist appointment.  One no longer needs to wait at home for friends or family to call.  Instead, you can be running errands, picking up groceries, working out at the gym – generally living your life rather than literally waiting by the phone.  Theoretically and practically, the cell phone has made getting in touch easier.  

Other findings from the report include:

– Households with both cell and landline phones who rarely or never get calls on their landlines tend to be better educated and have higher incomes.

– Low-income people are likelier than the more affluent to have only cell phones.

-About a third of those under the age of 30 only have cell phones.

While the CDC’s report verifies Americans’ reliance on cell phones has certainly increased throughout the years, the lasting implications of this transition remain to be seen. I, however, will probably continue to view my cell phone as my lifeline to the world.