Here’s the situation: You’re at a restaurant and a friend asks a question about the name of actor who plays Roger Sterling in the TV show Mad Men. Or, you’re at a pub and want to know the updates in the Mariners’ game. Or you’re heading home from the soccer match and want to find the nearest bus route.
Your first impulse is to turn to that smartphone in your pocket. If that’s happened to you in recent days — or the equivalent — you are not alone. Welcome to the world of real-time information.
According to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 86 percent of smartphone users have used their gadgets in the past 30 days to look up traffic information, coordinate a meeting, research a restaurant/business or find a sports score and more.
“The rapid adoption of cell phones and, especially, the spread of internet-connected smartphones are changing people’s communications with others and their relationships with information,” the report says. “Users’ ability to access data immediately through apps and web browsers and through contact with their social networks is creating a new culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers.”