How Do You Use Your Cellphone?

Odds are, you don’t really know.

Researchers conducted a study involving giving persons cellphones containing spyware (they weren’t spying–the users knowingly participated in the study). The BBC report is here).

They found that persons’ perceptions of what they themselves do diverge wildly from they actually do. A snippet:

    The researchers then compared the data with results from standard surveys given to the mobile users – and found, as the social sciences have found time and again, that people reported different behaviour than the mobile data revealed.

    “What we found was that people’s responses were wildly inaccurate,” Dr Eagle told BBC News.

    “For people who said that a given individual was a friend, they dramatically overestimated the amount of time they spent. But for people who were not friends, they dramatically underestimated that amount of time.”

It was a small study, but the researchers are trying to replicate the results in two larger studies.

This got me thinking about how I use my cell and I realized I don’t really know what I do more: message, call, or email. I also sometimes use it to read and edit documents (I carry the owner’s manuals for it and for my camera on it, as well as other reference documents) and my ebook reader is great for waiting rooms.

I don’t use it for podcasts; it doesn’t support Ogg Vorbis and the battery life is not that great, whereas my podplayer battery is good for two days of use.

I do know who I call and how long the calls tend to be. Most of them are less than two minutes, balanced by the occasional hour-and-a-half talk marathon.

But, if someone were to ask me to quantify or rank my usage, I couldn’t.

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