Nearly Half Of American Adults Talk To Their Phones Every Day

Fifteen percent use them while they're in the bathroom.

Teens and Adults, Talking to their Phones
Teens and Adults, Talking to their PhonesGoogle

Who talks to their phone? Google recently commissioned a little survey to find out. Below are some of their most interesting findings. Note: The report that Google shared split up its research population into two age groups, 17 and under, and 18-plus, so that's why we've reported them that way.

  • The majority of Americans ages 13 to 17 talk to their phones every day (55 percent), as do a large proportion of American adults 18 and over (41 percent).

  • The most common reason teens use the voice recognition on their phones is "just for fun" (51 percent). Adults are most apt to ask for directions (40 percent). In general, the most popular answers to this question were for short stretches of speech, such as calling a contact or dictating text messages, but you can use voice recognition for a lot more than that. Back in April, Slate published an essay that I liked, in which author Will Oremus wrote entirely by dictating to his phone. "Our mobile devices have gotten surprisingly good at understanding us—probably a lot better than you remember, if you haven't tried talking to your phone in a while," Oremus wrote.

  • Because one screen is not enough, 59 percent of teens and 36 percent of adults said they use voice recognition on their phones while they're watching TV. That's the most common time for both age groups for chatting with their phones.

  • Twenty-two percent of teens and 15 percent of adults talk to their phones while they're in the bathroom. I wonder if Siri can tell—because you can totally tell.

  • Forty-five percent of U.S. adults said they felt "like a geek" when they talked to their phones, while 56 percent said using voice commands make them feel "tech-savvy." I wonder how well these answers correspond to whether said adults were geeks or popular kids in school.

  • When surveyors asked respondents what their dream capability would be for voice recognition, adults most commonly wished for their phones to tell them where their keys were (44 percent), while teens wished for the phone to order them a pizza (45 percent).

Private research company Northstar conducted the survey for Google, gathering answers from 400 people in the U.S. ages 13 to 17, and 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older. The survey respondents' answers were weighted to make them representative of the U.S. in terms of age, gender, region, and level of smartphone use.