Even though mobile technology often simplifies the completion of everyday tasks, cell phone owners can also encounter technical glitches and unwanted intrusions on their phones. In an April 2012 survey, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project assessed the prevalence of four problems that cell owners might face:
- Dropped phone calls
- Unwanted sales or marketing calls
- Spam or unwanted text messages (based on cell owners who text)
- Slow download speeds that prevent things from loading as quickly as you would like them to (based on those who use the internet or email on their cell phone or download apps to their cell phone)
"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."
About the Survey
The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from March 15 to April 3, 2012, among a sample of 2,254 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,351) and cell phone (903, including 410 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. For results based Internet users (n=1,803), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.