February 26, 2011

Mobile Etiquette Lacking In America: Survey

A growing number of American adults feel that mobile etiquette in the United States is getting much worse, according to a new survey.

Texting while driving or eating dinner, sending emails while walking or using a public restroom, and even using mobile devices while on a honeymoon, are among some of the top pet peeves Americans cited in the survey conducted by Ipsos and sponsored by Intel Corporation.

Nine out of ten adults in the US claim they have seen people misuse mobile technology, and 75 percent say mobile etiquette is becoming worse compared to just one year ago.

"New digital technologies are becoming a mainstay in consumers' lives, but we haven't worked out for ourselves, our families, communities and societies what all the right kinds of behaviors and expectations will be," Genevieve Bell, head of interaction and experience research at Intel, said in a statement on Intel's website.

The poll, which surveyed 2,000 Americans, revealed that most US adults wished people would practice better mobile manners. The poll also revealed that many Americans find the lack of mobile etiquette extremely annoying, even though 20 percent admitted to poor etiquette themselves.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said the lack of mobile etiquette has sparked a new form of public rage and 65 percent admitted they became angry around people who misused mobile devices.

The most annoying mobile actions were the use of mobile devices while driving, followed by talking loudly on a cellphone in public and walking in the street while texting or talking on the phone.

Most of those surveyed reported seeing an average of five mobile offenses every day. Nearly 25 percent said they had even seen someone using a laptop while driving. And one in five said they checked their mobile phones and devices even before climbing out of bed in the morning.

A 2011 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that 85 percent of US adults own a cellphone, 52 percent own a laptop, and 4 percent own a tablet. The report also found that only 9 percent of US adults do not own any of the devices covered in the study.

Bell said that mobile technology is still in its infancy. "After all, it was just 8 years ago that Intel integrated Wi-Fi into the computer with its Intel® Centrino® processor technology, thus enabling the unwired laptop. Smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices" are still relatively new in the technology world, "so it's no surprise that people still struggle with how to best integrate these devices into their lives," he explained.

And now, with never-ending choices of sleek, small and powerful mobile devices on the market, people can easily take mobile devices with them wherever they go, making it easy to commit "public displays of technology."

"The premise of etiquette and how we socialize with one another is not a new concept. Whenever we interact with another person directly or through the use of mobile technology, etiquette is a factor," explained author and etiquette expert Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute. "We can all be more cognizant of how we use our mobile technology and how our usage may impact others around us - at home, in the office and whenever we are in public."


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