Too much sharing going on, says global study on mobile behavior

  • People share information online for two main reasons: Connection and expression
  • However, people ‘overshare’ and divulge too much information about themselves online

Too much sharing going on, says global study on mobile behaviorMOST adults and teens around the world are sharing information about themselves online and feel better connected to family and friends because of it, but there is also a perception of “oversharing,” according to a recent multi-country study commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by Ipsos Observer on Mobile Etiquette.
 
At least six out of 10 adults and teens say they believe other people divulge too much information about themselves online, with Japan being the only exception, Intel said in a statement.
 
Intel’s 2012 Mobile Etiquette survey examined the current state of mobile etiquette and evaluated how adults and teens in eight countries share and consume information online, as well as how digital sharing impacts culture and relationships. The research was conducted in the United States in March and a follow-up study was conducted in Australia, Brazil, China (adults only), France, India, Indonesia and Japan from June to August.
 
As the availability of Internet-enabled mobile devices increases, a continued awareness of how people use these devices is also on the rise. Over 80% of adults responding to the survey said they wished people practiced better etiquette when using mobile devices in public, and the majority of people think mobile manners have become worse, with the exception of adults in China who are more likely than others to believe mobile manners have truly started to improve (compared to a year ago).
  
The majority of adults and teens around the world share information online at least once a week, with approximately half of adults and teens in Brazil, China and India sharing on a daily basis.
  
The study revealed that we are sharing for two main reasons: Connection and expression. The majority of adults and teens said they feel better connected with their family and friends because they are able to share and consume information online via mobile devices, with the exception of adults in Japan who share less frequently.
  
The majority of adults and teens in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia also share online as a way to express opinions or make a statement.
  
“In today’s society, our mobile technology is making digital sharing ubiquitous with our everyday activities, as evidenced by the findings from Intel’s latest Mobile Etiquette survey,” said Dr Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow and director of user interaction and experience at Intel Labs.
  
“What is most interesting is not necessarily how widespread our use of mobile technology has become, but how similar our reasons are for sharing, regardless of region or culture. The ability to use mobile devices to easily share information about our lives is creating a sense of connection across borders that we’re continuing to see flourish.”

While Intel said its 2012 Mobile Etiquette survey revealed that the majority of adults and teens around the world believe others divulge too much information about themselves online, few admit to “oversharing” themselves.

Compared to other countries surveyed, only adults in China (77%) consider themselves an open book when it comes to online sharing with just over half (51%) admitting they often share too much personal information online.
 
“Etiquette is all about how we interact with one another, whether in person or online,” said author and etiquette expert Anna Post of The Emily Post Institute.
 
“The latest results from Intel’s Mobile Etiquette survey clearly show that 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.”
 
For additional information on Intel's annual “Mobile Etiquette” survey, visit www.intel.com/newsroom/mobileetiquette.
 
Survey methodology
 
The Mobile Etiquette and Digital Sharing survey was conducted online in the United States by Ipsos Observer on behalf of Intel from March 1-16. Respondents were a nationally representative sample of US adults ages 18 and older (n=2,008), with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, and US teens ages 13 to 17.
 
A follow-up online study was conducted from June to August among a nationally representative sample of adults and teens ages 13 to 17 in seven additional countries: Australia, Brazil, China (adults only), France, India, Indonesia and Japan. The sample population in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Japan are based on the online populations.

 
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