Published March 04, 2013
Everyone is guilty of the occasional indiscretion on a mobile device. But don't be too hard on yourself — smartphones have been a part of people's daily lives for a relatively short time. In terms of mobile experience, smartphone users are just entering their teens, and breaking rules is part of the maturing process.
Results from "Truth About Connected You," a worldwide study of 9,000 mobile users published today (March 1) by consumer researcher McCann Truth Central, concludes all users are just teenagers when it comes to mobile.
"Like most teens, we're taking risks and trying new things," Laura Simpson, the company's global director, said. Consumers have owned 6.4 devices and entered into a serious relationship with a new mobile device or provider every 22 months over the past 12 years, according to the report.
Chalk it up to lack of experience or the thrill of breaking rules, but either way, most mobile users have committed one or more transgressions through their devices. McCann dubbed these the seven deadly sins of mobile:
Phone in hand, sometimes the temptation to send a racy text or sexy photo is just too much to resist. More than one in 10 people say they have received a so-called sext. (The American Association of Retired Persons even offers advice on sexting.)
Look around any restaurant, and you'll see quite a few phones on the tables or in people's laps (a technique used by more-discreet diners). People can't let their phones out of sight. In fact, 38 percent of respondents said they use their devices in the bathroom.
There's an awful lot of free, legal entertainment online, but many want more. Copyright laws haven't stopped 29 percent of people from downloading illegal content (nearly 50 percent of respondents in China do it).
Don't feel like talking? Can't be bothered with another text? More than half of the mobile users in the survey said they've purposely ignored calls and texts.
Confrontation has become easier with phones, and the temptation to send off a quick "WTF" to express anger is not unusual. Two out of 10 people said they use "mofanities," (mobile profanities). And emojis make it all that much easier; how many times have you sent an angry face, steaming devil or grimacing cat?
In the old days, people judged others by their shoes, but today it's all about the phone. That's undeniably one of the reasons millions upgraded their iPhone 4S to the 5; they know their friends are watching and judging. In the survey, 55 percent said they judged others by their choices in device.
Call it pride or entitlement, but 44 percent of people said they have a right to do whatever they want with their mobile devices, even if it bothers someone else. Taking flash photos in restaurants, texting at the dinner table and listening to music with headphones when you're with friends, are just some of the annoyances phone users indulge in.
Maybe people aren't as grown up as they thought they were, and it just takes an iPhone to bring out their worst. How many of these mobile sins have you committed? Tell us below.