You Are Rude, I Am Busy

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Tuesday, April 05, 2011 17:04 PM

by Samuel Greengard

Mobile etiquette is getting worse--although it's difficult to imagine this is possible. An Intel-sponsored survey by Ipsos found that 90 percent of respondents have witnessed poor mobile behavior firsthand, including texting while driving a vehicle and talking on a device while using a public restroom.

But hold your moral indignation and finger wagging for just a moment, there seems to be a math problem: The survey also found that only 19 percent of respondents admitted to engaging in poor mobile behavior themselves.

Unless I'm missing something here, either the 1 in 5 who admit to using their phone inappropriately are driving around town and loitering at public toilets all day or everyone else is varnishing the truth just a bit.

Among the other lowlights:

· Seventy-five percent of U.S. adults say mobile manners are worse now than in 2009.

· 65 percent have encountered people talking loudly on a device in public places. · 74 percent believe that poor mobile etiquette has created a new form of public rage/violence similar to road rage.

Here's the kicker: 92 percent of adults say that they wish people would practice better etiquette when it comes to using their mobile devices in public areas.

Numerous studies and news reports demonstrate that the inappropriate use of mobile devices is more than annoying, it's risky.

And some observers are beginning to question whether we're able to focus on the task at hand with a device in hand. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last February, several industry heavyweights expressed concern that more communication isn't necessarily better communication. Hampus Jakobsson, director of strategic alliances at Research in Motion put it this way: "We're not talking to each other, but talking to devices.

Perhaps if we loosen our grip on those phones, we'll get a grip on reality.

Related: Mobile Rage is the New Road Rage