Cellular annoyance

Jun 24, 2008
Woman Cell Phone

Annoying mobile communications abroad
The results of a multi-national survey to be published in the International Journal of Mobile Communications reveals some surprises about cell phone use that have implications for organizations that rely on mobile communications. The study was undertaken by Robert Nickerson and Brenda Mak of San Francisco State University working with Henri Isaac of the University Paris-Dauphine.

We've all been annoyed by the noisy cell phone user on the daily commute telling their loved one at the other end, that they are "on the bus" or the ubiquitous and irritating ring tone. But, did you know that the French don't mind if you send a text message while walking and the Finns think that using your cell phone while driving should not be banned. People in Turkey are quite happy for people to use their phones in class but Italians are the most annoyed by people taking on their phones at the theatre, although Americans mind that the least.

According to Nickerson and colleagues cell phones have become to represent truly portable and individual communications and computing, they can be used any time, any place, any where. Cell phones in many ways are making fundamental changes in the way we communicate and compute, say the researchers, by studying them we have an opportunity to understand the different ways that new technologies affect society.

The flexibility of the cell phone for holding conversations, sending and receiving email and texts, listening to music, watching videos, and carrying out various computing tasks makes them at once very useful for the user and correspondingly annoying and even hazardous in some situations for other people.

Cell phones are widely used in diverse social settings from commuter transport to out on the street, from restaurant to restroom, and even in class. The researchers point out that cell phone conversations, ringtone sounds and device key clicks are some of the annoyances that other people near the user may perceive. In a medical setting or on air transport there are also issues of safety to consider.

The researchers have surveyed hundreds of individuals in Finland, France, Italy, Turkey, and the USA and have found that peoples' perception of cell phone use is strongly affected by age, gender and employment status, and even by country.

One final question the team asked in their survey was whether the user would feel lost without their cell phone for making calls. Italian respondents reported that they would be the least perturbed by the loss, well below the all-country average, while Americans and Turks would be the most concerned about such a loss.

Cell phones have become universal devices that provide many capabilities, the researchers conclude, organizations that utilize mobile communications with employees, business partners and customers must understand the social impact of cell phone use and how it varies in different social settings and from country to country to avoid a negative impact on goodwill. For the rest of us, it would be useful if the researchers could pass on their wisdom to the noisy cell phone user with the annoying ringtone who is still on the bus.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Explore further: Poor implementation may outweigh short-term benefits of Mexico's telecommunications reform

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US spies on mobile phones from the sky, report says

20 hours ago

US justice officials are scooping up mobile phone data from unwitting Americans as part of a sophisticated airborne surveillance program designed to catch criminals, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

US village is cell phone free and loving it

Nov 13, 2014

In this rural speck of hyper-connected America, it's easier to hear a cow moo than a cell phone ring. That's because Green Bank is home to the world's most sensitive radio telescope, a device that catches the birth and death ...

Scientists build a better eye on our world

Nov 11, 2014

Science begins with observation, and many defining moments in scientific progress followed the introduction of new ways to observe the world, from microscopes and telescopes to X-rays and MRIs.

AT&T stops adding Web tracking codes on cellphones

10 hours ago

AT&T Mobility, the second-largest U.S. cellular provider, said Friday it is no longer attaching hidden Internet tracking codes to data transmitted from its users' smartphones. The practice made it nearly ...

Wearable for state-of-mind shift set for 2015

Nov 12, 2014

How will neuroscience impact daily life? A more topical question might be, how will neuroscience play a role in the business of electronic-device vendors of headsets and other wearables? One entry to this ...

Fighting crime through crowdsourcing

Nov 12, 2014

Crowdsourcing utilizes the input of a crowd of online users to collaboratively solve problems. To advance this emerging technology, researchers at the University of Miami are developing a computing model that uses crowdsourcing ...

Recommended for you

WiFi hubs to replace New York pay phones

Nov 18, 2014

Thousands of high-tech terminals offering free WiFi and other services will soon replace New York's remaining fleet of seldom-used pay phones, the city mayor said Monday.

US spies on mobile phones from the sky, report says

Nov 14, 2014

US justice officials are scooping up mobile phone data from unwitting Americans as part of a sophisticated airborne surveillance program designed to catch criminals, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

US village is cell phone free and loving it

Nov 13, 2014

In this rural speck of hyper-connected America, it's easier to hear a cow moo than a cell phone ring. That's because Green Bank is home to the world's most sensitive radio telescope, a device that catches the birth and death ...

Comcast CEO: Full steam ahead on Time Warner deal

Nov 13, 2014

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is moving "full steam ahead" with the company's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable despite the uncertainty raised by President Barack Obama's call for tougher ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.