Smartphone, tablet and laptop etiquette is on the decline, with 19 percent of Americans saying they continue bad behavior because others are doing it, too.
etiquette-how we behave on and with our smartphones, tablets and laptops-is on
the decline, according to a new study sponsored by Intel, a company that helps power
a number of the devices with which we continue to offend one another. Sadly, with
manners, a sense of personal responsibility is apparently also on the decline.
While 92 percent of those surveyed said they wish that others would practice
better mobile device etiquette, nearly 1 in 5 admitted that they continue the
same bad behaviors because "everyone else is doing it."
pet peeves, according to the report, are the same as those that annoyed people
responding to a similar survey in 2009. Topping the list was the use of devices
while driving (according to 73 percent of those surveyed), talking loudly in
public places (65 percent) and using a device while walking (28 percent).
devices are still relatively novel, it's little surprise we're still figuring
out how best to integrate them in our lives, Genevieve Bell, an Intel Fellow
and head of interaction and experience research at Intel Labs, said in a Feb.
digital technologies are becoming a mainstay in consumers' lives, but we
haven't yet worked out for ourselves, our families, communities and societies what
all the right kinds of behaviors and expectations will be," Bell said.
that Intel hopes to use the results of the survey to understand what people
care about and so to drive innovation and technology development. "Our
appropriate digital technology behaviors are still embryonic," she said.
behaviors have led to any number of inappropriate "public displays of
technology," as Intel cutely calls them. Among those surveyed, 91 percent have
seen someone use a mobile device in what's generally considered an
inappropriate location. At 56 percent, behind the wheel topped the list,
followed by public restrooms (48 percent), movie theaters (32 percent) and on a
honeymoon (9 percent).
percent of adults say they've seen someone using a laptop while driving,
encouraging, says Intel, a new form of "road rage" or public-geared violence-a
theory that 74 percent of Americans agree with. Separately, 65 percent of those
surveyed said they've become angry with someone for using their mobile devices
bad behaviors were fodder for the Windows Phone 7 ad campaign Microsoft
launched in October 2010. Following shots of stupid, careless and grossly unhygienic
smartphone misuses-staring into their phones, a scuba diver is oblivious to a
shark, an older woman tumbles down a flight of steps, a dude drops his phone in
a urinal and resumes using it-a voice(over) of reason intones: "It's time for a
phone to save us from our phones."
time, says etiquette expert Anna Post of The Emily Post Institute, to be more
cognizant of how our device use affects those around us, whether at home, in
the office or in public.
guidelines to keep in mind, says Post, include practicing what you preach: Don't
engage in others' bad behaviors. Also, be present, giving your full attention
to those you're with at the moment. Before making or placing a call, text or
e-mail, consider if your actions affect others, and if so, wait or move away
first. And lastly, let private places, like restrooms, remain private.
premise of etiquette and how we socialize with one another is not a new
concept," said Post. "Whenever we interact with another person directly or
through the use of mobile technology, etiquette is a factor."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.