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‘Sorry, I’m on the phone’ a common ruse

Associated Press / August 17, 2011

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NEW YORK - If you’ve ever used a fake cellphone conversation to avoid real-life interactions, you’re not alone.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project says that 13 percent of adult mobile phone owners in the United States have used the old “I’m on the phone’’ tactic. Thirty percent among those aged 18 to 29 did that at least once in the previous 30 days.

Just don’t forget to silence your ringer first.

In all, 83 percent of Americans reported owning some type of a mobile phone. Of these, more than half said they have used their phones at least once to get information they needed right away. Mobile phones are also becoming tools for handling emergencies. Forty percent of owners said their phones helped in an emergency.

Phones also proved useful when staving off boredom, as 42 percent of respondents said they used their phones for entertainment when they were bored.

It’s not that phones are all fun and games, though. Twenty percent of cellphone owners said they experienced frustration because their phone was taking too long to download something, and 16 percent said they had problems reading small print on the phone screen.

In a sign that we are getting increasingly dependent on our mobile gadgets, 42 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 said they had trouble doing something because they didn’t have their phone with them.

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