Asia’s worst Internet habits revealed!

  • Telenor conducts regional survey on navigating the digital world
  • Trolling, excessive selfies and online profanity are top annoyances
Asia’s worst Internet habits revealed!

NETIZENS across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India all dislike people spreading false rumours on the Internet, but conversely will tolerate the trending onslaught of others’ cat pictures, according to a recent survey on the Worst Internet Habits commissioned by Telenor Group.
As the reach of Internet and social media expands exponentially, so invariably does the rise of annoying Internet habits, Telenor said in a statement. If you have ever been irked online, chances are you’re not alone.
In an effort to learn more about its customers as part of a commitment to provide a positive digital future for all, Telenor conducted the multi-market Internet behavioral survey.
From profanity tolerance levels to selfie approval ratings, more than 400 consumers across the region responded to what they love and hate most about the digital world.
Top five most annoying habits
According to the findings, the top five most annoying things people do on the Internet are:

  1. Spreading false rumours (43%);
  2. Trolling or offensively posting in order to elicit angry responses (31%);
  3. Sharing inappropriate content (28%);
  4. Online game invitations (27%); and
  5. The use of profanity: 23%.

The study was undertaken by the research firm Penn Schoen Berland in Singapore, and surveyed 401 people across Malaysia (100), India (100), Thailand (101), and Singapore (100), Telenor said.
The results reveal that while Asia is unified in many aspects, unique country-specific differences also exist.
For example, net profanity registered as Thailand’s top pet peeve at 43% and in Malaysia similarly high at 39%, whereas India and Singapore reported being far less annoyed by virtual world expletives with only 4% and 7% respectively reporting the behaviour to be annoying.
Conversely, the same question provides good news for well-wishers and cat lovers where across markets only 2% of respondents on average ranked sending e-cards and sharing cat content among the most annoying behaviour.
“This survey illustrates that the Internet is able to bring together a melting pot of cultures that can have many benefits, including an enriched life of greater connectedness – but equally poses unique challenges because of varying behaviours according to cultural contexts,” said Karianne Melleby, vice president and head of Global Partnerships, Telenor Digital AS.
“This is an opportunity for us to learn about each other’s online behaviours in a way that is interesting and, more strikingly, can allow us to be more respectful of our online peers,” she added.
Behavioural nuances, guilty pleasures
Country-specific results also reveal behavioral nuances, Telenor said.
A unique peeve for Singaporeans is posts of people boasting about their life as if to say, ‘Look at Me: My Life is So Great.’ Respondents in Singapore reported double the annoyance rate of the other three countries at 14%.
When then asked which online behaviour respondents have personally engaged in themselves, three of the markets ranked posting pictures of food as their top survey-listed guilty pleasure (Thailand 36%; Malaysia 36%; Singapore 21%).
Gender breakdowns also revealed behavioural nuances and potential correlations in behaviour, Telenor said.
Two-thirds of respondents admitting to excessively posting selfies on the Net were female, whereas the majority of respondents engaging in Facebook voyeurism are male.
In relation to aforementioned most annoying behaviour, the remaining fifth most annoying – online game invitations – reveals that while a despised behaviour of others, an average 16% of respondents admitted to inviting their contacts to play online.
Particularly within Malaysia – over a quarter of the respondents, 26%, engage in sending game invitations.
Net addiction

Asia’s worst Internet habits revealed!

Per the survey, a majority of people in all countries, 67%, agree to the statement: “I am an Internet addict,” with the most prolific located in Thailand, where nearly 80% of respondents say the Net is their obsession.
It is worth noting that while both the majority of men and women agreed with the statement, slightly more females surveyed felt addicted than their male counterparts, Telenor said.
Females reported to spending more time online than men with 21% of online two hours per day for personal reasons – equating to a mammoth 730 hours per year.
In parallel, men reported to accessing the Internet more regularly than females, with 89% accessing it ‘many times a day outside of work purposes.’
Gender notwithstanding, Singaporeans access the Internet more times per day than any other market, with 92% saying they go online ‘many times a day’ as opposed to once a day, or weekly.
Internet for the better
Despite these Internet annoyances, the survey also found that a resounding 90% say the Internet has improved their lives, and 82% of respondents stated social media has helped them to strengthen relationships with friends and family.
India, in particular, stands out with the highest degree of agreement with both statements among all the countries.
In terms of curbing perceived annoying behaviour, the survey reveals people believe it requires a combination of self-control and parental intervention, especially those aged 35-49 who resoundingly believe parents should take on the responsibility of educating their children to use the Internet properly (click infographic below to enlarge).

Asia’s worst Internet habits revealed!

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