Texting, Emailing, and Videos: How African Americans Use Their Cell Phones

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November 26, 2012 ‐ By Kimberly Maul

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When it comes to using cell phones, consumers are doing a lot more than just talking. In its latest Cell Phone Activities 2012 survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 85 percent of US adults own a cell phone.

Taking a picture and texting, of course, were the two most popular non-talking features of cell phones, with 82 percent and 80 percent of all cell phone owners participating, respectively.

Breaking down the activities of cell phone users based on race and ethnicity, 79 percent of black adults said they take pictures with their phones and 80 percent said they text. Additionally, black adults are more likely to record videos and download apps on their phones compared to whites and Hispanics.

According to Pew, 52 percent of blacks, 40 percent of whites, and 47 percent of Hispanics record videos with their cell phones, while 50 percent of blacks, 40 percent of whites, and 44 percent of Hispanics download apps.

For other activities, including accessing the Internet and checking email, Hispanics lead the way, with whites lagging behind. Blacks fall somewhere in the middle, with 60 percent accessing the Internet and 51 percent checking email on their phones.

For mobile banking, a newer activity on cell phones, 26 percent of whites, 34 percent of blacks, and 35 percent of Hispanics take advantage. This activity is more popular with 18- to-29 year olds, of which 45 percent said they use their phones for mobile banking.

What activities do you do on your cell phones? Does this Pew data ring true in your life?

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