As India’s use of Internet and social media expands exponentially, so invariably does the rise of annoying Internet habits. If you have ever been irked online, chances are – you’re not alone. India’s netizens unanimously voted spreading false rumors as the most annoying Internet habit, but conversely are most guilty of sending e-Cards and posting delicious food pictures according to a recent survey on the ‘Worst Internet Habits’ commissioned by Telenor Group.
Uniquely 33 per cent of Indians also hate excessive selfie takers, against the regional average of 21 per cent. And 65 per cent of Indians surveyed admit to being ‘Internet addicts’ – just under the regional average of 67 per cent addiction level.
In an effort to learn more about their customers in their commitment to provide a positive digital future for all, Telenor conducted the Internet behavioral survey across India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. From profanity tolerance levels to selfie approval ratings, respondents across the region replied to what they love and loathe most about the net.
“This survey gives us a very stimulating way to look at who are our customers are and their online preferences. As online access increases in the country, it is great to see that 94 per cent of the Indians surveyed say that Internet has improved their lives – the highest percentage among the surveyed nations. As technology evolves, so do our people and our cyber interactions. I think that Indian people are aware of their online behavior and want to make sure that the net remains an inclusive and regulated domain,” says Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India.
The study was undertaken by Penn Schoen Berland in Singapore and surveyed 401 people across India (100), Malaysia (100), Thailand (101), and Singapore (100). The results reveal that Asia is unified in many aspects; but additionally illustrate unique country-specific differences. For example, net profanity is not a big concern for Indian online citizens at a low 4 per cent of annoyance, versus a large 43 per cent in Thailand and 39 per cent in Malaysia.
Per the survey, a majority of Indians, 65 per cent, agree to the statement: “I am an Internet addict.” And it is worth noting that while both the majority of men and women agreed with the statement, slightly more females surveyed regionally felt addicted than their male counterparts.
Females also reported to spending more time online than men with 21 per cent of online two hours per day for personal reasons–equating to a mammoth 730 hours per year. In parallel, men reported to accessing the Internet more regularly than females with 89 per cent accessing it ‘many times a day outside of work purposes’.
Indians like Facebook for Looking, not Seeking Compassion
Indian online users were characterized by the findings as being not concerned with online expletives, but uniquely annoyed by seeking sympathy, posting selfies and spreading false rumors on the net. A noteworthy 28 per cent of Indians say that sympathy-seeking posts on Facebook are very irritating contrasted with the regional average of 14 per cent. And India was the only surveyed country to list this in their top five most annoying online habits.
But when then asked which online annoying behaviors respondents have personally engaged in themselves, Indians admitted to being most guilty of Facebook voyeurism (looking but not posting) and sending e-Cards: at a shared 23 per cent. Sending e-Cards online again had a distinctively high ranking for Indians against the regional average of 13 per cent, where it did not rank in the top five amongst the other three countries. 14 per cent Indians also said that they indulged in posting food pictures and sending online game invites.
And while attesting to the love of food in Asia, all countries admitted to high levels of sharing snaps of food, women regionally overall were more likely to post pictures of food (31 per cent versus 23 per cent for men). Gender breakdowns also revealed behavioral nuances and potential correlations in behavior. Two-thirds of respondents admitting to excessively posting selfies on the net were female, whereas the majority of respondents engaging in Facebook voyeurism are male. But selfie-takers beware! Indian respondents rated this activity much higher in the annoyance stakes than the other three nations – 33 per cent annoyance in India, against just 21 per cent regional average.
Internet for the Better
Despite worst Internet annoyances, the survey also found that a resounding 94 per cent of Indians say the Internet has improved their lives, and 83 per cent of respondents stated that social media in India has helped them to strengthen relationships with friends and family.
In terms of curbing perceived annoying behavior, the survey reveals Indian people believe it requires a combination of government regulation and parental intervention. Markedly, 20 per cent of Indians feel that government-run education programs should be utilized to improve Internet etiquette – much higher than the regional average of 12 per cent. While 27 per cent of Indians feel that online behavior is the responsibility of parents who need to talk to their children about the Internet.
“With Telenor’s strategy of Internet for All and goal of achieving 200 million active internet users by 2017, we will see many first-time internet users in Asia over the coming years. As more people access the internet it will be interesting to see how netiquette evolves, just as the world does. As for selfies and cat pictures – I would not be surprised if the next billion people connected turn out to be more sophisticated than us!” added Karianne Melleby, VP Head of Global Partnerships, Telenor Digital AS.