Do you have a love-hate relationship with your cell phone? Join the club. Pew reported yesterday that 39% of U.S. adults are now heavy users of mobile devices to access the internet. Pew lists several typologies:
– 9% of adults are Roving Nodes, using mobile to connect and share with others
– 8% are Digital Collaborators, using mobile to share creativity
– 8% are Mobile Newbies, just figuring out how to connect online…
The list goes on, but one group stands out: Ambivalent Networkers. This group represents 1 in 5 of heavy users of mobile internet — the people who text on phones most often — and they aren’t happy. Pew reports this group feels overwhelmed with the need to stay connected, out of fear they may miss something, and are growing frustrated with the constant variations of social media options to communicate.
We’ve noted recently that the typical savvy mobile-web consumer now has at least 12 standard ways to listen to others: email, Gmail, chat, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, blog comments, RSS feeds, desk phone, cell phone, text messages. Within each tool, subtools are allowing new controls — such as the free TweetDeck software which divides Twitter streams into groups of friends — but each new subtool adds yet more complexity.
Is a backlash growing? Will consumers eventually demand streamlined interfaces to control online connections? Don’t ask us. We’re still adding new icons to our iPhone.