It seems to happen more and more frequently. You get on a crowded bus headed for work, and the man next to you pulls out his cellphone and starts carrying on a very loud conversation. The kids in the row behind you are texting away, and posting their location and pictures on social media sites. It’s all part of the mobile, connected world of 2012.
As we’ve come to both use and rely on mobile devices to share information about ourselves with family and 800 of our closest friends, it seems we may be losing site of the etiquette rules we were taught before all this sharing.
More than 80% of adults responding to Intel’s “Mobile Etiquette” survey say they wish people practiced better etiquette when using mobile devices in public. Among the pet peeves: texting while driving, talking loudly in public and having the volume pumped up too high in public. Respondents say these bad habits have gotten worse.
Intel’s 2012 “Mobile Etiquette” survey examines how we share and consume information online. They surveyed adults and teens in eight countries, including the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia and Japan.
The survey found the majority of adults and teens worldwide are sharing online because it makes them feel better connected to family and friends. At the same time, six out of 10 say they think other people divulge too much information online about themselves.
What are people sharing? Photos rank high in most countries, along with reviews and recommendations. Religion was high on the ranking in Brazil and Indonesia, but very low in both Japan and France (see graphic below).
Ninety percent of Americans think people share too much online, specifically explicit photos, mundane details, private info and constant complaining. When asked about their own sharing habits, very few believed they were guilty of these transgressions. After all, everyone wants to see those Instagram photos of your breakfast, right?
As to where people share, that varies with location. Vacations rank the highest in all eight countries, and “eating a meal with others” ranks a close second in many. People in the U.S. seem to enjoy sharing in the bathroom (14%), while those in Indonesia (4%) have yet to acquire this habit.
In this constantly connected world where mobile devices let us detail every moment of life as it happens, where are the etiquette rules?
Author and etiquette expert Anna Post of The Emily Post Institute tells Mashable the technology is evolving, but the issues remain the same. Where we used to wonder if it was okay to answer the ringing telephone during dinner, we now debate the etiquette around looking at a text or email during dinner.
And there are no hard and fast rules. “How we’re using it is interesting because it’s not all set in stone,” she says. “Etiquette is all about how we interact with one another, whether in person or online.”
Post says, “the question going forward won’t be if we share online, but how we share online. Mobile devices enable us to share in the moment, and etiquette helps us decide how to share and connect in ways that are positive and enhance our relationships.”
Her advice: “Think twice about posting in the moment.”
What’s your pet peeve when it comes to mobile etiquette? Let us know in the comments, but don’t do it from the bathroom.