60 Million Americans Talk To Their Devices At Least Once A Month
Not *on* a device — *to* a device.
Here’s more proof that our relationship with technology has gotten too close for comfort: A report from eMarketer shows that this year, 60.5 million Americans will use a voice-enabled virtual assistant at least once a month. That means we’re chatting with Siri, Alexa, Cortana and the like more often than some people talk to their own parents.
Those 60.5 million people make up 27.5 percent of smartphone users and one-fifth of the total U.S. population, according to the report. The ubiquity of these virtual assistants is rising fast — eMarketer notes that the use of voice-activated assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home increased by nearly 130 percent since last year.
Most of these users are between the ages of 25 and 34, the report notes. Overall, 33.5 percent of American millennials will chat with a virtual assistant this year.
It’s true that these assistants can be helpful, allowing us to set reminders and take down important notes on the fly. But let’s also acknowledge how strange is it that we’re now talking to technology, and that we’re doing it fairly often. Personally, I don’t use a voice assistant on my smartphone, but I do yell at my Amazon Echo at least once a day to pipe down after Alexa mistakenly detects her voice in a conversation or commercial. Is it really necessary to yell? No, but I do it anyway because it just feels right. And the day that Alexa yells back is the day that I’m officially done talking to tech.