For One Week: Would You Give Up Your Pet, Sex, Or Your Smartphone?

PuppyTough luck, Sparky.

Photo: G r e n

It’s a simple question, on the surface. But think about it. Have you become so reliant on that smartphone or mobile device that you literally could not function a week without it?The irony of most smartphone arrangements is that the generally-despised service contract that many networks require probably isn’t necessary at all. Once we’re in, we’re into our smartphones wholeheartedly. Intel’s 2011 Mobile Etiquette Survey revealed that 76 per cent of adults say that if they had to choose, they would give up something other than their mobile Internet-enabled device for one week. RingCentral, a cloud-computing based business phone system provider conducted a study in April 2010. Respondents answers to the question “what could you not live without?” were tied between smartphones and intimate relations. (That means sex). There’s a reason a Blackberry was coined as a “Crackberry,” after all.

Yet, as smartphones require us to use less brainpower or engage in face-to-face conversations, our relationships with others, and our treatment of them, have been put on the back burner. If you were one of the 700,000 people that logged onto YouTube to witness the woman who fell into the fountain at a mall while texting, you probably already share a bit of an appreciation for how bad our mobile manners have gotten in this country.

75 per cent of respondents to the Intel survey agree that mobile technology manners are worse compared to just a year ago.

The most annoying offenses? Ranked in order of annoyance, survey respondents placed using mobile devices while driving at the top of the list (Oprah would surely concur!) To boot, 24 per cent of U.S. adults have seen someone using a laptop while driving. Talking on a device loudly came in second, while using a mobile device while walking on the street ranked third.

Although 92 per cent of respondents said they want to see a change in this lack of mobile etiquette, few seem willing to lead. One in five respondents said that while they realise their mobile etiquette is lacking, they continue to do it because everyone else is.

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