After an extensive only study involving 9,000 participants in nine countries and after analyzing nearly 20,000 online discussion board posts, the truth can be told: Mobile phone and other mobile device users are like sinful teenagers.
At least that is how McCann Global Telecom describes the findings of its global research study, "The Truth About Connected You," just released at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
"Globally, the average consumer has only been a mobile user for 12 years," Laura Simpson, global director of McCann Truth Central, said in a press release. "That means that, in mobile years, it's as if we're all just becoming teenagers. And like most teens, we're taking risks and trying new things. Our data shows that in their relatively young adolescent mobile lives, consumers have owned 6.4 devices and entered into a serious relationship with a new mobile device or provider every 22 months."
The study showed that mobile users consider their devices to be an extention of who they are.
And who they are may not always be so nice.
McCann's study laid out a list of mobile bad behavior based on the ancient cardinal sins.
The seven deadly sins of mobile
1. LUST: Sending or forwarding a sexually explicit text (or "sext")
More than 1 in 10 people say they have received a sext message.
2. GLUTTONY: When your device addiction becomes excessive
Thirty-eight percent of people are toilet talkers (take their devices into the bathroom).
3. GREED: Downloading content illegally
Twenty-nine percent of people admit to doing this (49 percent in China).
4. SLOTH: Screening calls and avoiding texts
Fifty-five percent of people have purposely ignored a call.
5. WRATH: Littering your mobile messages with $#^&! words and "mofanities"
One in five use curses and dirty words in their texts.
6. ENVY: Judging a man or woman by their home screen
Fifty-five percent admit to judging other people by their choice of device and 40 percent admit to judging someone by the network they choose.
7. PRIDE: Living in your own mobile bubble
Forty-four percent of people say they have a right to do whatever they want with their mobile devices (even if it might bother someone else).
Even with all this sinning going on, the study found people are optimistic about the impact of mobile devices. Almost 40 percent thought mobile technology will help create global solutions to crime. Twenty-one percent thought mobile technology can help avoid global economic crises and 16 percent thought it could help alleviate pandemic flu outbreaks.
Judy Shapiro at Ad Age explained how mobile can indeed save the world: "Connecting the dots gives us a rich, optimistic view of a possible stable world economic system where more connectivity (via mobile technology) leads to more access to information which results in higher adoption of technology which allows for a fast evolution to mobile computing which can permit the creation of commerce and economic prosperity possible at an exponential dynamic never possible before."
Shapiro, who wrote this back in 2010, of course did not mention the seven sins.