Always connected/always on

The_Mobile_Difference:Wireless connectivity has drawn many users more
deeply into digital life.

John Horrigan
Associate Director, Research,

Pew Internet & American Life Project, March 2009

Cast a glance at any coffee shop, train station, or airport boarding gate, and it is easy to see that mobile access to the internet is taking root in our society. Open laptops or furrowed brows staring at palm-sized screens are evidence of how routinely information is exchanged on wireless networks. But the incidence of such activity is only one dimension of this phenomenon. Not everyone has the wherewithal to engage with “always present” connectivity and, while some may love it, others may only dip their toes in the wireless water and not go deeper. Until now, it has not been clear how mobile access interacts with traditional wireline online behavior. Does availability of mobile access crowd out desktop access? Does it draw some users further into digital lifestyles?

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