Back-Of-The-Bus Big-Mouths Tops Poll of Worst Mobile Etiquette


Loud talkers, rude daters and bed-texters are what really make the UK’s blood boil
– but are we becoming more tolerant?

London, UK, July 8, 2011 – Whether it’s talking too loudly on your smartphone or giving your laptop more attention than the people around you – mobile devices have clearly changed our manners. A new survey by Intel in the UK reveals a whole series of blunders that most would regard as social malpractice, but surprisingly, suggests that people’s tolerance of the use of mobile technology in public is on the rise.

Mobile Manners

The research shows we are united in frustration by the general public’s lack of mobile manners. 67% of respondents said that people talking too loudly on their phones in public spaces is what drives them maddest, quickest, making this the no.1 mobile pet peeve across the UK – and across Europe as well.

The survey also revealed that 40 percent of respondents were guilty of typing in front on others whilst 52 percent of mobile maniacs said that they would rather give up chocolate than give up on their gadget addiction.

Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow and Director of Interaction and Experience Research, Intel Labs commented, “This survey makes clear how important mobile technologies have become in our daily lives. Smartphones are no longer just devices for making calls, they are implicated in almost everything we do. And whilst it sometimes feels like these devices have been around forever, it is less than a decade since mobile phones went mainstream in the UK.”

Dr Bell added: “Unsurprisingly, we are still working out the right social rules; from texting your friends while on a date to Tweeting during your own wedding, societies and cultures haven’t quite sorted out how the devices will find a comfortable place in our lives. While inappropriate mobile use is certainly an invasion of privacy, we can’t deny the reliance on these devices, and the positive impact they have on our lives.”

As further proof, those surveyed said they would rather you picked your nose than used your mobile in front of them. Only smoking and swearing were deemed as less appropriate for public situations.

Brits’ love of mobile technology also revealed that 33% of us have suffered their use even on a date, and 11% of respondents voiced annoyance of their date’s use of mobiles in the bedroom! However the British dinner table remains sacred, being considered as by far the rudest place to use a mobile device – with laptops receiving particular criticism.

Mobile Malpractice

”The thing about etiquette and manners is that they are always adapting and changing”, continues Genevieve. ”The pace of technology right now makes us feel like we are constantly behind. When we look at the survey data and begin to understand the frustrations – and in some cases confusion – around how mobile devices are used, it’s clear that some things will remain anti-social for generations to come.”