Do You Still Use Your Phone For ...Talking?
Smartphones: they can browse the web, play music, send emails and update Facebook. Oh yeah, and they can make phone calls too. The New York Times has as an article up that examines how smartphone usage habits have changed over the last couple of years, and posits an interesting question: how often do we smartphone owners still use our phones as ...phones?
I, like many of the people profiled in the article, talk surprisingly little on the phone. Most social engagements are arranged via Facebook or text, most work communication is done via email, and I usually only talk verbally once or twice a week - generally when something is urgent. A quick check of my Sprint account via the online portal spells this out: we're using only a tiny fraction (~300) of the voice minutes of the carrier's smallest shared data plan (the Everything Data Share 1500), which is shared by two smartphone users. Even that 300 minute number is on the high side for us.
Reasons cited by folks in the article about why they don't use their phones as phones as often these days generally range from "it's simply too disruptive" to "I really only call someone if I don't have their Twitter handle or e-mail address".
People using their phones more for things other than talking is undoubtedly a trend, and one that will continue to accelerate in the coming years. The NYT article cites Sprint CEO Dan Hesse as expecting that carriers will eventually stop charging subscribers for voice minutes entirely, billing them instead for data only. Industry data even suggests that not only do folks talk less on their phones, but the average conversation is a full minute shorter than it was even a year ago.
How often do you talk on the phone these days?