5 May 2005
Don’t be surprised if you’re on the receiving end of some dirty looks the next time you’re engrossed in a conversation on your mobile phone – you just might be speaking too loudly for the comfort of those around you! The latest survey by ACNielsen reveals what Singaporeans consider to be the most ‘annoying’ mobile phone habits, with talking loudly, and leaving mobile phones switched on during inappropriate social settings making it to the top of the list.
According to the ACNielsen survey, nearly 70 percent of people voted against ‘talking loudly on mobile phones’, making it the most unpopular mobile phone habit, trailed closely behind by ‘leaving mobile phones switched on during inappropriate social settings such as in cinemas, workshops and conferences etc’ with 64 percent of people voting against it. Others which also received high votes were ‘engaging in lengthy conversations on mobile phones in social settings’ (52%), ‘taking candid shots of others’ (51%), ‘receiving impersonal SMS messages’, and ‘setting mobile phones at a high ringing/SMS alert volume’ (46%).
“Mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore has been increasing over the years with the latest figure hitting 94%*. With nine out of 10 locals owning one, it has become a necessity of life amongst Singaporeans. As a common, everyday aspect of our life, there are social norms that have come into being,” commented Ashok Charan, Managing Director, ACNielsen Singapore.
“Hence, it is important that we also watch our mobile phone etiquette, just the way we do with other social etiquettes like table manners and driving courtesy etc.”
While the majority of Singaporeans are irritated by loud-talking mobile phone users, not as many Hong Kongers seem to be affected by this. In fact, according to a similar survey conducted in Hong Kong in mid 2004, people speaking loudly on their mobile phones, and setting high ringing volume did not bother Hong Kong people as much as they did Singaporeans. Only one in two Hong Kongers found the habit annoying and it ranked the lowest of all. Rather, Hong Kongers appear to be less tolerant towards people taking candid photos of others with their mobile phone (93%).
In Singapore, while many frown on the habit of conversing loudly over the phone, only one in 10 said they are guilty of the habit themselves. Only 10 percent admitted to ‘taking candid shots of others’ and 15 percent confessed to ‘engaging in lengthy conversations on mobile phones in social settings’. The bad habit that the greatest number of people owned up to was sending SMS messages in the company of others – a habit the majority of Singaporeans were generally unconcerned about —only a fifth of people thought it to be an annoying habit.
“It is also interesting to note that attitude towards certain “annoying” mobile phone habits varied slightly among specific groups of Singaporeans,” Mr Charan added. “While the majority (80%) of all teenagers surveyed felt turned off by loud-talking mobile phone users, it was ringing mobile phones during various social settings that annoyed 75% of PMEBs”.
The survey on mobile phone etiquette was conducted in March 2005 through the ACNielsen CATI Omnibus which is a monthly telephone survey interviewing 1,000 people aged 15+ representative of the Singapore population.
ACNielsen, a VNU business, is the world's leading marketing information provider. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the unit provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behavior. Clients rely on ACNielsen's market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns. To learn more, visit www.acnielsen.com.
ACNielsen is part of the VNU Marketing Information group. VNU is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media measurement and information (Nielsen Media Research) and business information (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing, Intermediair). VNU is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands and New York, USA. The company employs 38,000 people.
Total revenues amounted to EUR 3.8 billion in 2004. VNU is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam (ASE: VNU) stock exchange.
Back to Top