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The Prevalence of Smartphone Use Among a Wired Group of Young Adults (WP-11-01)

Eszter Hargittai and Su Jung Kim

Despite cell phones’ popularity, little is known about the extent to which people’s devices include advanced functionalities and which features people use regularly. Mobile phones have the potential to help people overcome limitations in traditional ways of accessing the Internet. Who is most likely to use cell phones for going online and other advanced functionalities? Drawing on a unique data set representing a diverse group of young adults, this working paper looks at the prevalence and predictors of cell phone usage for a varied set of activities. Results suggest that African Americans adopt most features at higher rates than others. Hargittai and Kim also find that mobile devices seem to supplement traditional access to the Internet rather than replacing it.

Eszter Hargittai, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, and Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University

Su Jung Kim, Research Associate, Medill, Northwestern University

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