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The Attachment Problem:
Cell Phone Use In America

Annual Survey 2019


SureCall, the manufacturer of the most powerful and reliable cellular signal boosters on the market, wanted to better understand how our relationships with our cellular devices has evolved in recent years. In this annual survey, SureCall asked about a range of topics including cell phone usage, 5G awareness and basic lifestyle. It collected responses via an online survey from over 1,000 individuals who are located in the U.S. and over the age of 18.


Cell phones are becoming an increasingly central part of our lives. Compared to the study last year, we’ve seen an increase in those who consider cell service as a determining factor when buying or renting a home to 58%. We also see similar patterns across other aspects of cell phone usage, some of which are detailed below.


Our study suggests a strong correlation between phone habits and general emotional/social well-being; people who are attached to their phones in certain ways are much more likely to feel generally unhappy with their lives while also exhibiting more anti-social tendencies.


While awareness of 5G is exploding, people are wanting to learn more about the nascent technology before being willing to pay for 5G upgrades.


Apple vs. Android

The two operating systems that hold the majority of the market have created quite a brand following, sometimes referred to as a cult following. As the battle rages on to prove which is the best, we thought it would be interesting to see how users of Android and Apple compared.


Unsurprisingly, younger people are more engaged with their phones than older generations.


Despite the shift from text to call towards richer communication mediums in the 21st Century, cell phones have remained the cornerstone of our fascination with all things real and digital, blending the boundaries between work and play while granting each user the collective power and wisdom of a hundred if not a thousand lives.

Being at the cutting edge of the cellular signal booster industry, we at SureCall perform annual data collection and research to help us better understand the nature of this game-changing technology and how it affects other core elements of your well-being.

Our findings highlight a rather pronounced correlation between low income, unhealthy cell phone usage, and unreliable cell signals that suggests there is a middle ground where people can learn to develop healthier cell phone habits without giving up their reliance on mobile technology, all the while potentially finding more happiness as an added bonus


Phones are playing a bigger part in people’s lives, but they also lead to increased side-effects if healthy phone habits aren’t observed.

The first things we looked at after popping the hood were YoY trends, which give us a decent understanding of the landscape’s inertia. When we compared our numbers against our 2018 results under the same queries, we notice a shift towards heavier reliance on our cell phones, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing by itself, but like Pandora’s box, this reliance comes with increased anxiety and less meaningful social relationships.


Higher earners experience the same frustrations with their phones just as often as lower income earners--however, they seem to be immune to many of the most serious side-effects of poor phone usage.

One of the hottest issues in American discourse right now is the economy. Whether you like it or hate it, everyone wants an economy that offers ample opportunity to live a meaningful life while providing for loved ones. But do the top earners ($100k+) have a unique relationship with their devices? Are they doing anything differently from the rest of us grunts?

The answer to that may surprise you. On one hand, higher earners experience much of the same anxiety w/o their phones and are inconvenienced by weak cell signals at the same rate as lower income earners. However, they seem to have a more disciplined phone/life balance than lower earners and since phone habits are correlated with improved social relationships and better sleeping habits, top earners are able to enjoy their devices just as much as the rest of us without having to make significant concessions in other areas of their lives.



Poor phone habits are not only tied to low income, but also strongly correlate with each other as well as with malnourished social interactions, sleep, work/life balance and happiness.

Now we know that higher income workers don’t necessarily use their phones less or more, but rather seem to adopt fortified boundaries between their devices and their private lives that make them immune to many of the unhealthy phone habit side-effects which plague lower-income earners.

Let’s take a closer look at how some of these phone habits can erode one’s quality of life. From friends and family to income, general happiness, and even one’s love life, there seems to be no corner of one’s inner circle that isn’t related to unhealthy phone habits.

Q: Do you sleep with your phone next to or on your bed?
People who answer yes are:

Q: Have you ever answered the phone or replied to a text during sex?
People who answer yes are:


It only takes 1-2 unreliable cell connection experiences per week for people to begin exhibiting many of the same undesirable lifestyle happiness indicators that we see in poor phone habit offenders and low-income earners.

Not only do we now know that poor phone habits are strongly correlated with lower income, social isolation, and general unhappiness, but we also see similar patterns for people who experience unreliable cellular signals, such as calls dropping, texts not going through, or slow/intermittent browsing.

While part of their increased stress is likely perpetuated by the fact that some of their jobs depend on them having a strong cell signal (Uber/Lyft for example), the correlation nevertheless stands firm and is one of our chief motivations at SureCall where we provide cell signal booster solutions to families, adventurers, schools, businesses, police departments, and everything in between in an effort to help prevent stressful situations and encourage a healthier lifestyle normally reserved for happier, higher-income people.


As technology enables us to further enrich our communication mediums, we will likely one day look upon our cell phones as an outdated relic from the past. However, until we do, it is up to us to champion healthy phone habits as a means to ensure the well-being of ourselves, our families, and our children.

While this report certainly highlights worrisome correlations between phone habits, unreliable cellular signals, income, happiness, sleep, and social/sexual relationships, it is by no means a guaranteed roadmap to improving your daily happiness. Regardless, we hope that it serves as an enlightening portal for self-exploration, helping everyday folks better understand the connections between that which ails us and their day-to-day impact on our lives.


The June 2019 study collected responses via an online survey from over 1,000 individuals who are located in the U.S. and over the age of 18. This research was generated by SureCall in partnership with SurveyMonkey.


SureCall is the multi-patent, award-winning performance leader for cell phone signal boosters. Since its inception in 2001, SureCall has quickly grown to dominate the cutting edge of the industry, winning back-to-back Inc. 5000 awards every year since 2016 as well as the 2017 CES Innovation Award, among many other accolades. SureCall combines its patented engineering with top-quality materials and comprehensive lifetime support to provide best-in-class solutions for mobile device users to access dependable cell service in their homes, offices, and vehicles. As a result, industry leaders such as Chrysler, Marriott, NASA, and HP all trust SureCall’s FCC-approved signal boosters for their quality, reliability, and innovation.