Spike in smartphone usage among US teens

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Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to PCs as more teenagers in the US now surf the internet through their smartphones. Compared to just 23 per cent last year, 37 per cent of teens in 2012 went online via smartphones, according to The Internet and American Life Project by the Pew Research Centre.

According to the study, 23 per cent of teenagers surf the net primarily through their cell phones compared with 15 per cent for adults. In addition, more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of adolescents own cellular phones, while 47 per cent have smartphones.

Mary Madden, a Researcher at Pew Research Centre, pointed out the significance of this data, saying that teenagers have set past trends in texting and social media.

“We see this as an important indicator moving forward,” she said, noting that smartphones can conveniently access the internet and come with built-in apps.

Smartphone usage for Americans between the ages of 14 and 17 stands at 44 per cent, with 45 per cent for adults, noted Madden. Moreover, the study revealed that nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of teenagers go online via tablets, cell phones and other mobile devices at least once in a while.

Nearly all teenagers (93 per cent) have access to a computer. However, adolescents living with low-income families are unlikely to go online, whether via mobile or digital subscriber line (DSL).

Nonetheless, 30 per cent of teenagers living with families earning below US$30,000 each year mostly surf the internet via cellular phones, while those in households earning over US$50,000 posted a higher percentage.

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