Are We Sharing Way Too Much Information Using Our Mobile Phones?

Sharing stuff online is this new thing that we are into. Links, personal milestones, photos and everything else constitute the content that we put out/share everyday. This is a new trend and it seemed to be super cool when it started. We were all overjoyed that we could now open channels of communication with people so freely and easily. However, as this ‘sharing’ has now firmly entrenched itself in our day to day life, the question we need to ask is whether we could be overdoing it!

Too much of anything is not good, they say. But I have had a problem with oversharing since quite some time now. I am not talking about what I share, because I am very selective about those things. What concerns me is the copious amounts of stuff I know about other people without actually trying very hard. People are really free with their personal details on the web and social mediums. This may probably be because they don’t care about the possible ramifications of doing so or they are not aware about their privacy being compromised. As we shift towards our portable quad-core mobile computing buddies, we see this trend of oversharing increasing.

I came across a recent study by Intel and IPSOS Observer which found some interesting bits about ‘Mobile Etiquette’ around the world. The study observed the habits of both adults and teens as they used their mobile phones to connect with their friends and family.

So what is Mobile Etiquette?

Well, it is the behaviour of mobile users in terms of how they use their internet-enabled phones to communicate with each other.

The proliferation of these connected devices and their usage has significantly affected our communication habits and rituals. The report says that more people are comfortable sharing stuff online than in a physical way. The virtualised sharing is deemed easier and more comfortable because, let’s face it, our lives are getting busier. However, that is not a good trend as it directly leads to oversharing, something that many of our friends and contacts may be put off by.

The study points out that 85% of Indian mobile users wish that other would improve their mobile etiquette. Pet peeves regarding this ranged from texting/typing while driving, talking loudly while in public (I have seen this happen many times), playing music loudly, speaking about private matters in public, using your phone while in the physical company of friends etc. About 94% of Indian mobile users share information online using their phones. A significant chunk (67%) of these users share stuff between ‘a few times a day’ to ‘a few times a week’. Some 7% of the people share online continuously during the day. Teens growing up with smartphones are ahead of adults in the whole sharing bit. 43% of the teens with a mobile phone make sure that every moment in their physical life is captured on their phone and spread online. 69% of the Indian teens feel that they are missing out on things if they do not share online or consume online information. Photos, Opinions, Reviews and Current News are some of the top items that are shared by Indians.

Another disturbing trend that the study points out is that some 64% of Indian adults are more comfortable with sharing stuff online rather than in a physical manner. Some 45% of the users maintain different personalities in the online and offline worlds. 59% of the teens exhibit this. 21% of the users have admitted to sharing false information online. Males are more likely to do this according to the study.

If we start becoming so comfortable living our lives online, we may one day lose the rich inter-personal relationships we share with other human beings. The online world is indeed a step forward in communication but it should not dominate our offline relationships.

The study is very detailed and covers Australia, Brazil, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, USA in addition to India. To get the detailed report, you should visit their website.

Website | Mobile Etiquette

Top Image Source | TheGloss

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