Intel Study Reveals Importance of Keeping Tech Tasteful During the Holidays



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You might say that Intel as of late, has become obsessed with mobile Etiquette. This all started a while back when a bunch of Intel employees discovered a woman camped out on the floor of a stall in the ladies room, she was busy using her laptop. The situation was so ridiculous that it inspired them to think more about mobile etiquette and all that it entails.  Since then they’ve conducted several surveys about mobile etiquette an behavior. Their latest survey in particular, “Intel Holiday Mobile Etiquette” finds that most U.S. adults won’t tolerate mobile technology etiquette violations, especially during holiday gatherings.


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This week, Intel had an event at the Russian Tea Room to discuss these latest findings. And what better place to discuss mobile etiquette then at the Russian Tea Room! Unfortunately I didn’t start the event off quite right, I arrived late and as a result I tweeted throughout the event, not knowing that electronic devices had been requested be left behind for tea. Looks like someone, really needs some mobile etiquette lessons! At each place setting there was a place card that contained a mobile etiquette fact. My place card read that “more than half of online adults (62%) would send an electronic greeting card or email in lieu of a traditional card.”

At the session, director of Intel’s User Experience Group, Dr. Genevieve Bell, talked at length about mobile manners. Genevieve pointed out that mobile manners are very situational and dependent on how a technology is used. She also discussed how every-time there is a new technology, there are new mobile etiquette questions to be asked. Dr. Bell offered some suggestions about how to practice correct mobile etiquette, and how to determine just what is the correct mobile etiquette in a particular situation. When deciding on appropriate mobile etiquette, users should ask themselves, is it appropriate right here? Who is around me at the moment? The reality is that most people don’t mean to be rude when they get wrapped up in a conversation with someone on the other end of the device.

One story that she related particularly stood out in my mind. During her travels as an anthropologist, she came across a church in Korea that had a sign warning church parishioners “to switch off your cell and wait for the call of G-d”. She also mentioned that there is an edict in the Philippines that no Catholic confessions could be made via SMS or fax. This was done because people were starting to attend church less and less.

Genevieve also spoke about how there modern day phenomena of this era is that people think that they need to constantly be  connected, and that that is normal. However her theory is that this mindset will change and it will eventually balance out. She bases this observation on the fact that she sees younger generations figuring out ways to disconnect their connectivity.

Genevieve was also joined by Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and the author of Do I Have to Wear White? and Emily Post’s Wedding Parties. Anna also weighed in the topic of mobile manners and she discussed one issue that I have always struggled with. She said that in her opinion, it is indeed ok to not accept people as a friend on Facebook. But if they are a business contact, it’s wise to go and connect with them on LinkedIn. Now that is sound advice! She also told us personally that when it comes to children it’s important for parents to train their kids about mobile etiquette, just as they would with regular etiquette.



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Some of the other findings of Intel’s Holiday Mobile Etiquette survey include these four facts:

•    One in three online adults (30 percent) would be offended to receive an online gift wish list from a friend and/or an immediate/extended family member.
•    An overwhelming majority of online adults have no tolerance for mobile technology etiquette violations at holiday services, with 87 percent agreeing that it is inappropriate to use a mobile device at religious venues.
•    Travel can be a little bit tense around the holidays, and some feel that it is no time for multitasking  36 percent of online adults agree that it is inappropriate to use a mobile device in an airport security line.
•    A majority (60 percent) of online adults consider using a mobile device while on a date as inappropriate.

For more details on the study, check out the press release