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Intel's 'Mobile Etiquette' survey uncovers global peevishness

And presents it in a slick interactive presentation you've gotta check out

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Intel has published its annual "Mobile Etiquette" study, an effort that makes two things abundantly clear: first, that worldwide online information sharing is ubiquitous; and second, that Intel and its survey partner Ipsos Observer certainly know how to compress a shedload of data into a whiz-bang interactive presentation.

"What is most interesting is not necessarily how widespread our use of mobile technology has become," said Intel director of user interaction and experience Genevieve Bell in a statement, "but how similar our reasons are for sharing, regardless of region or culture."

2012 State of Mobile Etiquette and Online Sharing graphic showing info-sharing 'pet peeves' in the US

In the US, online info-sharers are annoyed by just about everything (click to enlarge)

Bell may find that the survey, conducted in eight countries this spring and summer, shows commonality among online info-sharers, but there's also a large degree of diversity of interests and opinions that can be gleaned from the mountain of data Ipsos Observer wheedled out of its survey subjects.

For example:

  • Well over twice as many Chinese as French share information online when they're in the bathroom – an activity that's rarely practiced by Indonesians.
  • Half of Chinese adults believe they share too many mundane details of their lives, while only about one in 10 of their Australian, French, and American counterparts feel the same about their own online behavior.
  • Far more than twice as many French women than Japanese teenage girls think that people divulge too much information online.
  • Very few Japanese men share information online during funerals, a practice not uncommon among Indonesian women.
  • Far more Australian men than women share false information online, both male and female Indonesians rarely do, but no one lies more than Japanese men.
  • About a third of Chinese adults share info a few times per week, the same proportion as French adults who share less than once a month, and as Brazilian teenage girls who share a few times each day.
  • No one shares photos online more than Australian teenager girls, or less than Japanese teenage boys.
  • A tiny percentage of Japanese teenage girls share political opinions online, although over one-fifth of Indonesian teenage girls do.
  • More Indian teenage girls share explicit photos of themselves – nearly 20 per cent – than do their compatriots in any other country. Or at least they're more honest about doing so.

One area of particular interest that the survey explored was online annoyances. You owe it to yourself to check out the pet peeve section of the interactive presentation to see how your opinions of constant complaining, bragging, mundane details, profanity, and other peeves match up against Indonesian women (not fans of explicit photos), Frenchmen (picky about poor spelling and grammar), and others.

"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," notes Bell. And, in the case of those frisky Indian teenies, perhaps see quite a bit more. ®

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