Pew Internet Delves Into Our Mobile Nightmares
August 3, 2012

Pew Internet: Mobile Nightmares Include Spam Texts, Dropped Calls

John Neumann for - Your Universe Online

Has any technology disrupted the lives of humans more than cell phones? Unthinkable only 30 years ago, we now have the capability to reach almost any other human on earth with the swipe of a finger.

So what do we have to complain about? This is the promise of the telecommunications revolution. It´s here. It´s ubiquitous. It´s available on a payment plan!

According to a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, some of the most common cell phone complaints consist of aggressive telemarketers and spam messages. The remainder of the list has us upset at slow download speeds and dropped calls.

“The big change that mobile connectivity has brought to users is the instant availability of people and data,” noted Jan Lauren Boyles, a Pew Internet Project researcher who authored this report. “As mobile owners become fond of just-in-time access to others and as their expectations about getting real-time information rise, they depend on the cell phone´s technical reliability.”

“Any problems that snag, stall, or stop users from connecting to the material and people they seek is at least a hassle to them and sometimes is even more disturbing than that in this networked world.”

Also interesting is how many cell phone owners have to put up with unwanted calls from telemarketers and spam texts, writes Frederic Lardinois for TechCrunch. The Pew report notes there are plenty of legal restrictions that apply to both of these activities. But judging from this data, it seems many unscrupulous telemarketers and text message spammers happily ignore many of these restrictions.

The survey of 2,254 adults, conducted from March 15 to April 3, found that 77 percent of people who use the internet on their cell phone experience slow download speeds that prevent them from loading things as quickly as they would have liked, writes Angela Moscaritolo for PC Mag.

Forty-six percent said they stare at a slow-loading screen on their phone at least weekly while 72 percent of cell phone owners experience dropped calls at least occasionally, with 32 percent noting they encounter this issue a few times a week or more frequently. Meanwhile, a lucky 26 percent of respondents said they never experience dropped calls.

Overall, the survey found that some 88 percent of American adults now own a cell phone. Fifty-five percent of cell phone owners use their phone to go online.