Online sharing, how much is too much?

Wed May 9, 2012 1:17pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Whether it is photos, personal status or unwanted comments, most Americans think people 'overshare' personal information online and a third admit not everything they post is true.

A survey for Intel Corporation on mobile etiquette and digital sharing showed that 90 percent of Americans think too much is being divulged, and nearly half feel overwhelmed by all the all the data that is out there.

One in five of the 2,008 people questioned by Ipsos Observer for Intel admitted that some of what they post is false.

"People are still sorting through what does it means to share, who is the audience you are sharing with, what do those audiences want and how do they feel about things?" said Dr Genevieve Bell, the director of user interaction and experience at Intel Labs.

"Those are the things that are really fluid. We are still sorting it out both at a personal level and a cultural level."

For many, sharing online with smartphones, laptops, notebooks and tablets is easier than in person. A third of people admitted they were more comfortable with digital sharing than face to face, and a quarter said they had a different personality online.

About 85 percent of Americans post information online and a quarter do it every day, according to the survey. For 65 percent of U.S. adults, sharing makes them feel closer to family and friends and nearly half said it they didn't communicate online they wouldn't know what is going on with those near and dear to them.

But the wealth of digital information can also be annoying.   Continued...