People share too much information about themselves online, Intel survey reveals

6 Sep 2012

Most adults and teens around the world are sharing information about themselves online and as a result feel better connected to family and friends, but 60pc of adults and teens believe people divulge too much information about themselves online, a recent study suggests.

The study on mobile etiquette commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by Ipsos Observer examined the state of mobile etiquette and evaluated how adults and teens in eight countries share and consume information online, as well as how digital sharing impacts culture and relationships.

Mobile etiquette

More than 80pc of adults said they wish people practised better etiquette when using mobile devices in public, and most people also think mobile manners have worsened, with the exception of adults in China who are more likely than others to believe mobile manners have truly begun to improve, compared to a year ago.

– Intel study

The results reveal Japan is the only country in which adults and teens don’t believe others share too much information online and that few adults and teens worldwide admit to “oversharing” themselves.

Compared to other countries surveyed, only adults in China (77pc) consider themselves an open book when it comes to online sharing with 51pc admitting they often share too much personal information online.

Sharing information online pet peeves

Different things annoy adults and teens from each country it when it comes to sharing information online, but constant complaining, posting inappropriate photos, using profanity and sharing too many life details and personal information were prominent responses across the board.

More than 85pc of the respondents worldwide wish people thought more about how others will perceive them when sharing information online.

At least one-quarter of adults and one-third of teens, with the exception of Japan and Indonesia, have been embarrassed by their online behaviour. Many also admit to having a different personality online and to sharing false information online.

Online connections

Most adults and teens said they feel better connected with their family and friends because they are able to share and consume information online via mobile devices, with the exception of adults in Japan who share less frequently. The majority of adults and teens in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia also share online as a way to express opinions or make a statement.

“In today’s society, our mobile technology is making digital sharing ubiquitous with our everyday activities, as evidenced by the findings from Intel’s latest mobile etiquette survey,” Dr Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow and director of user interaction and experience at Intel Labs, said in a statement.

“What is most interesting is not necessarily how widespread our use of mobile technology has become, but how similar our reasons are for sharing, regardless of region or culture. The ability to use mobile devices to easily share information about our lives is creating a sense of connection across borders that we’re continuing to see flourish.”

The research took place in the United States in March and a follow-up study took place in Australia, Brazil, China (adults only), France, India, Indonesia and Japan from June to August.

Sharing information image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic