By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a two-year absence at the Hennepin County Government Center, the pay phone is back.

The people running the information desk asked that it be reinstalled after a handful of people a day needed to use it, like David Doren, who stopped by Tuesday morning to call his brother.

He says not having a cellphone is a hassle, but “kind of a protest” of the terms of the cellphone contract.

Doren is one of five percent of Americans without a cellphone in this cellphone-obsessed world.

smartphone How Many Of Us Have Smartphones?

(credit: CBS)

According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of people had a cellphone in 2007, the year the iPhone was introduced.

Smartphone growth has also skyrocketed. Pew didn’t even start collecting data on them until 2011, when 35 percent had one.

In 2016, it was up to 77 percent. Among people 65 years and older, 42 percent have a smartphone.

According to Influence Central, the average age of a child’s first smartphone is now 10.3 years old. That’s down from 12 years old just four years ago.

Landlines are also slowly fading. The Centers for Disease Control reports 51 percent of United States households do not have a landline.


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