Your Internet Presence – Part 10: Mobile Etiquette

 This is the kind of sharing we didn’t learn in kindergarten.

The Intel Corporation, which manufactures the processors in today’s popular mobile devices, in association with The Emily Post Institute has conducted its first international survey on “Mobile Etiquette.”  Accordingly, it seems fitting to close (for now) this series on Your Internet Presence with an examination of how people are managing their mobile devices worldwide.

The main point to emerge from the study seems to be that people are “oversharing,” or divulging too much information about themselves via their mobile devices.   This is not the kind of sharing we were taught in kindergarten, which was to share school supplies and toys in class and our books and toys with friends at home.  We were never taught by our parents and teachers to casually share our deepest and most private thoughts and fears, or to readily provide or publish our telephone and credit card numbers, zip codes, birth dates, addresses, nude photographs and videos (or worse), personal family information, our income or our family’s income, gossip about friends, neighbors, coworkers, bosses and others we know, secrets with which others have entrusted us, our height and weight and whether we color our hair and a host of other tidbits that can embarrass us or harm our reputations and relationships.  Such information is better kept private, in the family or between close friends and our attorneys or doctors.

Here are some other key points about mobile devices from the Intel survey:

  • A whopping 80 % of adults wished people practiced better etiquette with their mobile devices, and the majority believe manners have worsened.
  • People use their mobile devices to share information and express their opinion.
  • Most people feel more connected to their families and friends.
  • The practice of proper mobile device etiquette is important in ensuring that people connect in positive ways and enhance their personal, educational and career relationships.
  • There is an overload of information that is shared online.
  • Pet peeves include online excessive complaining, the posting of inappropriate photos, profanity, and sharing of personal details of one’s life and other personal information.
  • People are embarrassed over information they have revealed about themselves online.
  • The majority of teenagers admit to checking in constantly with their friends, and feel they are missing something when they do not or cannot connect.
  • Many people admit to having another personality online, and to sharing false information.
  • Too many people cannot put down their mobile devices even to dine.

To read the Intel study, including the multi-country study (there’s a link contained in the study, click here.  My thanks to Mary McCormick, Business Analyst at Hewlett-Packard Company, for alerting me to this survey so that I can pass it on to you.

A major component to maintaining a positive and rewarding Internet presence is to control the way you use your mobile device.  It cannot be said too often that whatever is shared on the Internet can fall into the wrong hands and at some point come back to hurt or haunt you.  The New York State Department of Labor recommends to address online reputational security; however, the service is not free.

Finally, to end on a slightly lighter note, check out “70 Party Fouls of the Social Foolish.”

Until next time,


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