Seniors Say Smartphones Represent Freedom

Seniors may not be the most likely candidates to jump onto the smartphone bandwagon, but for those who have, the experience is more freeing than restrictive.

A new Pew Research study shows the vast majority of smartphone users 65 and older find their devices to be incredibly liberating, even more so than Millennials in the modern world.

According to the Pew survey, 82% of seniors with a smartphone say their phone represents “freedom,” not “a leash.” By comparison, only 64% of smartphone users age 18-29 felt the same way. 36% of smartphone owners in the younger age group referred to their phones as a leash, compared to just 18% of seniors.

The same percentage of seniors (82%) were more likely to rate their smartphones as “connecting” rather than “distracting” (18%). Over one-third (37%) of smartphone owners under 30 considered their phones to be a distraction.

The differences in these viewpoints may spawn from the ways various age groups use their smartphones. Young smartphone owners use their phones for everything from social networking to comparison shopping and mobile banking, while most older users narrow their efforts to checking emails, making calls and texting.

With nearly one-third of Americans admitting to smartphone addiction, it is no surprise that an average of 30% of smartphone owners felt their phones were a leash. As technology continues to be integrated into our day-to-day lives, the line between distraction and connection will become even blurrier than it is today.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.