Internet As Essential As Cell Phones For 73% Of Surveyed Adults

87% of American adults now access the internet in some form, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project, with 71% of surveyed adults using the Internet on a typical day.

Results from the survey indicate that the internet has become almost indispensable to about three-quarters of its users with 53% saying it would be very hard to give up the Internet and 20% saying it would be somewhat hard to give up. By comparison, only 57% of adults feel the same way about their TV.  That includes 35% who feel that it would be very hard – a figure which plummets to just 12% among those aged 18-29.

Quite a change since 2007, when Pew reported 43% of adults said that it would be very hard to give up TV and 45% said it would be hard to give up the Internet or in 2006 when adults found TV more essential (44%) than online adults did the internet (38%).

Just 11% of internet users say that it would be very hard to give up social media, while 17% said it would be somewhat hard to give up social media.

Among those internet users who said that it would be very difficult to give it up, 61% said that being online was essential for “job-related or other reasons,” while 30% said it would be hard to give up just because they enjoy being online. Internet users are twice as likely to go online from home on a typical day (90% of users) than they are to go online from work on a typical day (44%).

The data is based on telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,006 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (502) and cell phone (504, including 288 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from January 9 to 12, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.5 percentage points.

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