September 27, 2012

Cell phones: How cultural differences affect mobile use

A wonderful article from CNN on how cultural differences affect mobile use.

quotemarksright.jpgIn Japan your phone shouldn't be a nuisance to others," she says. "This means generally keeping it on manner mode when out of the house, and not taking calls in cafes and restaurants. If somebody's phone rings, they will be flustered and silence it or take very quick call," Ito explains.

In Spain and Italy, in contrast, mobiles are used everywhere and people discuss their personal lives loudly in public.

Smartphones are the new wingman

The Spanish, like the Italians, happily answer calls in restaurants, during business meetings, conferences and even sometimes during concerts. Discreetly texting or instant messaging under the table during meetings is also commonplace, Dr. Amparo LasÚn, Professor of Sociology at the University Complutense de Madrid, says.

In parts of India and Africa, there is also a culture of split-second calls known as "flashing" or "beeping." Jonathan Donner, a researcher at Microsoft India who published a paper on "The Rules of Beeping," said: "Beeping is simple: A person calls a mobile telephone number and then hangs up before the mobile's owner can pick up the call."

The mobile owner can then phone them back, thus picking up the tab for the call. Donner first came across "beeping" in Rwanda and tracked it's use across Africa. He said the practice has many different meanings from "Come and pick me up", to "Hi", to "I'm thinking of you" to "Call me back."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

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