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Question of the day

Friday, Nov 30, 2012

* Zorn posted some results from “The Best & Worst of Mobile Connectivity” survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night. …

12% of cell owners say that people they know tell them that they are spending too much time using their phone…

9% of cell owners say that their phone makes it “a lot” harder to disconnect from work life. This concern is particularly acute among cell owners in high-income households. 7% of cell owners say that their phone makes it “a lot” harder to give people their undivided attention. 7% of cell owners say that their phone makes it “a lot” harder to focus on a single task without being distracted….

Two groups consistently stand out when it comes to their usage patterns and attitudes relating to their mobile phones — the 45% of American adults who own a smartphone and the 17% of cell owners who do most of their online browsing within the context of their mobile phone (referred to throughout this report as “cell-mostly internet users”). Compared with other cell owners, these individuals are more likely to sleep next to their phones; to check their phone frequently for messages or alerts even though they didn’t hear a notification; and to engage in a wide range of mobile activities such as accessing social networking sites or doing online banking.

* The Question: How often do you access Capitol on your mobile phone or device? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rarely. Because hitting a larger computer monitor is cheaper and much more satisfying than throwing my iPhone out the window. Plus, smartphone screens are too small.

  2. - train111 - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    Got my smart phone yesterday, so haven’t had a chance yet.
    My wife drove the change. I think it’s too much. I want a phone to call people, not all the gadgetry. Embarrasing admission: I’m an electrical Engineer by trade but my 7 year old son gets around the cell phone better than me.


  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    When I’m on the go I’ll check in using my Blackberry. I can’t comment with it and when you post videos it’s hard to navigate, but it’s a good distraction on the el and when I can’t use my desktop or iPad.

  4. - WhoKnew - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:27 pm:


    I can relate. I never used the data plan when I had my smart phone, so I switched back to a flip phone to save the 30 bucks a month.

  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===when I can’t use my desktop or iPad. ===

    Yeah, but the question includes “device,” so that would be your iPad.

  6. - dave - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    I probably use my computer for about 40% of my CapFax reading, and my iPad and iPhone split for 30% each.

    I do comment more when I am on my computer though.

  7. - Wensicia - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Not often, I spend most of my days in front of a computer.

  8. - Sir Reel - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    I thought using my smart phone would make my comments smarter. Hasn’t worked so far.

  9. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===so that would be your iPad===

    OK, but the answer is still sometimes for me. The iPad is new and I’m not dumb enough to whip that out on the el.

    I’m kind of old school and prefer my desktop. I’ll miss them when they’re gone.

  10. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    How often do you access Capitol on your mobile phone or device?

    I never do because navigating websites on a cellphone is migraine-inducing.

    – MrJM

  11. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    When I am in my ’second office’ or on the train.

  12. - Just the Facts - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    I’ll access the site from the Iphone on the train sometimes if I haven’t had a chance to look at the site on the pc at work. But, it’s difficult to read - even the mobile site - at my age.

  13. - TooManyJens - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    I don’t use my phone for web browsing much, because I’d so much rather do that on a full screen. I use it much more for email and Twitter, and occasionally Facebook. And of course podcasts.

    I sleep with my phone by my bed too, but that’s because it doubles as my alarm clock.

  14. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Sucks too much life out of the battery to access websites.

  15. - tubbfan - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    When I am away from my desktop during the week and I know there are “issues” of interest being discussed, I will access CapFax via my mobile device.

  16. - siriusly - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    47- a blackberry? really? losing respect here

    I voted “sometimes” because I will use the iPhone to check for updates and once in a while to post a smart-ass comment. But still easier and better to read on the computer.

  17. - Foxfire - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    I would access it more, but I cannot get password protected posts to work on Google Chrome.

  18. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    Too funny Siriusly. The company upgraded me to an iPhone, but it’s still in the box. I fear change.

  19. - zatoichi - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    Use a basic flip phone that has no mobile access. Get in front of a real screen to very easy all day.

  20. - Sunshine - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    I moved my PC next to my bed so I can always have access to CapFax and never miss an update.

    I move it around the house on a dolly.

    I don’t like using my brick phone in public because people might think me old fashioned?

  21. - On the real - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    Kind of hard to read on my iPhone so I very rarely access from my mobile device.

  22. - Anon - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    Only time I really access cap fax on my phone… is when I’m using the “facilities”. Thanks for the good times!

  23. - Anon - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    Mostly access on cell because the website crashes my Safari browser on my Mac at least half the time I try to access through my laptop. This time, it was OK, however.

  24. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    Since I switched from BB to iPhone a year ago, I use the latter much more frequently to access the Fax and a couple other Websites that are fairly mobile-friendly.
    I would agree that heavy use of the little screen can be migraine-inducing. Battery drain helps avoid that though.
    Would also have to confess that posts made from iPhone are more likely to be snarky (due to brevity) than those made from big machine.

  25. - Burnham the Monk - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    The fact that CapFax hasn’t been (re)built on responsive platform like Bootstrap or Zurb’s Foundation is a bit mystifying — especially when more folks are using phones or tablets — and expectations for smooth web experience (especially with posting and reading comments) is high.

    I tried reading this on my iPhone a few weeks ago, but it’s very hard (lots and lots of pushing the page up and up and up) .

    I do love the content, but the design needs to respond (much) better to the devices it’s used on. The platforms are out there and developers are always encouraged to go responsive.

    My two cents …

  26. - wizard - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    my cell phone is for phone calls only. have blocked everything else

  27. - Ahoy! - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    rarely, I have a blackberry and it’s just not that great for Capitol Fax. Maybe if there was a moble app?

  28. - Norseman - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    Capitol Fax is too interesting to wait until I have time in front of the desktop. Either on my tablet or smartphone.

  29. - dave - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:34 pm:

    ** I cannot get password protected posts to work on Google Chrome.**

    Really? I use Chrome on both my iPad and iPhone and haven’t had any problems with password protected posts on CapFax.

  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    There will be no app until I find one that can display all my ads. No way am I going adless.

  31. - Demoralized - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    I never look at Capitol Fax or any other internet site on my mobile device because I have a Blackberry. They are horrible for doing anything related to the internet.

  32. - Quacktastic - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:48 pm:


    Only one complaint to lodge. That Session live feed does bleed over onto the two columns on the right. The problem is the same on both the iPad and iPhone.

  33. - Judgment Day - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    Desktop - probably 45% of the time.

    Samsung Captivate 4G - almost never (too small screen, etc.)

    Tablets (both iPad & Nexus 7) - 55%, and increasing. Normally only used for work

  34. - mongo - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:54 pm:

    I am surprised to be in the majority with a “never”. My reasons are simple…vision and thick fingers! And from a content perspective, I prefer to read and enjoy, which takes a moment or two, and just in my experience using a smartphone for thought provoking exchanges is ineffective.

  35. - Esteban - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    Don’t have a cell phone and can’t think of a really good reason to get one.

  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:56 pm:

    Never. I don’t even know how the can opener works.

  37. - Colossus - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:04 pm:

    I’m an Android guy, but I only do web stuff to fill in a few minutes here and there, so I’m stuck in a routine of what I use my phone for (Fark, Slate, Cracked, FB, and that’s about it). Plus I’m in front of a computer all day while everything’s happening here, and using the phone requires the browser and multiple clicks to get here.

    Now, if there were a dedicated app that let me skip the browser I’d add it to my routine in a heartbeat. Especially if there were push notifications for new posts, or new comments on threads I’d commented on.

    FWIW, Rich, I love the site and the commenters, and if no changes ever happen I’ll still be here. BUT…I’m also active on Fark, and they’ve got a great commenting system that allows the user to highlight favorite posters, ban others, or tag other posters with custom labels/colors to allow for more efficient reading on high volume threads. Not sure if you care, but I for one would be pleased to see some features like that in a future site overhaul.

  38. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    I switched a couple years ago from desktop to mobile devises.

  39. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    Too bad Capitolfax isn’t a can.

  40. - Burnham the Monk - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:16 pm:

    Realize that if you used a responsive framework, you wouldn’t need an “app”. Besides, an app for this would essentially be a wrapper around HTML — not anything native.

    So why not simply reconfigure the site based on the platform — and then display the ads accordingly?

    Just askin’.

  41. - Rarely - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    I would love to access it all day long but since I have a Blackberry, probably the worst internet access phone available, well, you understand. Great for texting and emails and not much else.

  42. - John A Logan - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    On the weekend when I am away from the office I will check the blog to make sure has not been anything major break. This weekend checking is almost always on my phone. Before I go to sleep, I will often have my phone plugged in next to me and log on before bed. I would say my interaction with the blog is 70% desktop computer and 30% mobile phone.

  43. - RNUG - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    While I have a web browsing capable phone, I don’t use it for that purpose. These old eyes and fat fingers aren’t very compatible. Desktops and laptops work better …

  44. - cermak_rd - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    I use my iPhone infrequently and an android tablet more frequently. Most of the time, I have a desktop or laptop in front of me though, so it’s just more convenient to use that than putting the tablet on top of the desktop’s keyboard and getting random key events.

  45. - Knome Sane - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 2:47 pm:

    I use my smartphone only when I want to mask my IP address when posting. Just kidding. I don’t even know what an IP address is….

  46. - cover - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    I voted “never”, but that’s no offense to Rich or the blog - it’s just that I don’t have a smartphone or tablet.

  47. - ChicagoGirl - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    I don’t have a smartphone or a tablet either.

  48. - siriusly - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 3:13 pm:

    Finally proof that Speaker Madigan reads the blog!!

    “- Esteban - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    Don’t have a cell phone and can’t think of a really good reason to get one.”

  49. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 3:14 pm:

    lol, siriusly. MJM does have a mobile phone now. He uses it for campaign calls.

  50. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 3:52 pm:

    My cell is for calls and the very rare text only (old school RAZR flip). I almost exclusively use my laptop for CapFax (wifi, no internal modem).

    I keep my cell by the bed, but its my only phone. When I had a land line, an extension was by the bed. What’s the big deal with keeping your phone by the bed?

  51. - walkinfool - Friday, Nov 30, 12 @ 4:33 pm:

    Never. Too hard to type a comment on my IPhone. and don’t have an IPad.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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