Apparently, No One Likes Mobile Device Users

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While we may be a nation of mobile device users -- largely, anyway -- it’s clear almost no one is using their device in a respectful, concerned-for-others manner.  What’s worse is, even if a large majority of users knows mobile device user behavior is largely inconsiderate, it doesn’t stop them from acting the same way when they’re using their own devices.

Such are some of the findings from a recent Intel study over this very topic: Mobile Technology Etiquette 2011. Most, if not all of Intel’s findings are either A. not surprising, or B. obvious when you observe others using their mobile toys. 

The biggest issue concerning mobile device etiquette is a distinct lack thereof. Some of the findings (pdf) include:

- Nearly all U.S. adults (91 percent) have seen someone using their mobile device in an unusual place. The most common locations include behind the wheel (56 percent), in a Public restroom (48 percent), in a movie theater (32 percent) and on a honeymoon (9 percent).

- The majority of U.S. adults (76 percent) say that if they had to choose, they would give up something other than their mobile Internet-enabled device for 1 week.

- Seventy-four percent of U.S. adults believe that poor mobile etiquette has created a new form of public rage/violence, much like road rage

- Sixty-five percent admit becoming angry around people misusing their mobile devices inappropriately.

All interesting facts and figures, but perhaps the most informative part came when 92 percent of the respondents wished people would use better etiquette when using a mobile device.  While this sounds like a reasonable request, when contrasted with this tidbit of data:

“Eighty-eight percent of U.S. adults agree that people rarely take others into consideration when using their mobile devices in public”

You get the feeling the war for mobile device etiquette has already been lost, no matter how many suggestions Anna Post offers.  For instance, tips like the following are clearly lost on today’s mobile device user:

“The solution is two fold. First, manage your time and other’s expectations, no matter how easy the technology makes it to respond immediately. You can return a call instead of answering, wait to answer a text, or excuse yourself for a minute to check email. Better yet, don’t keep a mobile device handy when you know you shouldn’t answer it. In a meeting? Put your laptop lid down. Better yet, keep your mobile devices in your handbag, briefcase or pocket.”

A reaction consisting of “yeah, right” comes to mind, especially when it comes to the almost-extinct ideas of consideration and respect for others.  Throw a mobile device into the mix and it’s clear Post’s considerable writing ability would be better spent developing step-by-step guides for watching paint dry and lawn mower usage.

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