- Survey outlines seven distinct personality types among American adults' connectivity habits
- Most Americans prefer screen time over face time when communicating with family and friends
- Highly connected personalities exhibit behavior patterns of extreme device and technology dependence and are more concerned about losing their mobile phones than luggage or car keys
Connectivity Personality Segments
The Broadcom Study explored a wide range of behaviors and attitudes around how people use technology to connect. The survey uncovered that gender and age are the main drivers of connectivity — the highly connected are more likely to be female or a Millennial (ages 18-31), while the less connected tend to be male or a member of the Baby Boomers (ages 45-64) or Greatest Generation (65 and above). From sharing apps and content, to comparison shopping on a mobile phone, to purchasing a connected car, the survey revealed seven categories and preferences of American's connectivity personalities and behavior styles:
Always On: 8 percent of the U.S. adult population
This group uses technology mainly to create new content and proactively engage others. They are the most connected of all segments. This segment sees technology as a critical enabler of their relationships with others. This group is more likely to be early adopters of new technology, opinion elites (top 10 percent of the population engaged in civic and political activity), and are more likely than other segments to use technology to connect with people they want to know (19 percent) versus people they already know.
Live Wires: 35 percent of the U.S. adult population
This group is highly connected and tends to use technology to converse with others. They are the most likely group to say they use technology mainly to stay current with family and friends (69 percent). This group and Social Skimmers are most similar in device ownership — most own smartphones (68 percent) and many own tablets (38 percent) and web-enabled TVs (24 percent). This group is more likely to be employed full-time and in the Millennial age group.
Social Skimmers: 6 percent of the U.S. adult population
This high connectivity group is marked by ownership of many devices, use of many social networking sites, large online social networks, and the frequent use of technology to connect with friends and family. Although highly connected, this group primarily uses new technology to receive information, rather than proactively engage with others. As such, two-thirds (66 percent) say they have first found out about a breaking news story on social media.
Broadcasters: 8 percent of the U.S. adult population
Lower in connectivity than the highly connected, this group uses technology selectively to create new content and tell others what they are doing, as opposed to commenting in a more conversational fashion or initiating new engagement. This group is the least likely to be on social media -- three in five (60 percent) say they do not use it. Instead, this group prefers to connect using their mobile phones and three in four (76 percent) say they primarily make and receive calls on their cell phone.
Toe-Dippers: 27 percent of the U.S. adult population
This group is the largest of the three low connectivity groups and its members primarily use technology to converse with others. This group chiefly owns desktop (64 percent) and laptop (54 percent) computers, and nearly a quarter (23 percent) use a smartphone. They are the most likely segment to say that they prefer in-person contact when communicating with friends (43 percent), but even for this less connected group, a majority prefers to connect with friends using technology (57 percent).
Bystanders: 15 percent of the U.S. adult population
Bystanders are the least connected. Two in three (67 percent) own desktop computers but they have the lowest ownership of laptops (48 percent) and only about one in ten (12 percent) owns a smartphone. They use technology to connect with family and friends less than three (2.8) times each day, which is five times less than the national average (15.7). When they do use technology, they use it to receive information and are the most likely group to say they use technology primarily to keep up with news and current events (31 percent).
Never Minders: 2 percent of the U.S. adult population
This group represents a small segment of the U.S. population who are outliers; they do not use phone, text, or social media to connect to others. This group is apprehensive about using technology and is more likely than the other groups to say that technology makes them feel more isolated (47 percent). When they do connect, they are more likely to do so out of necessity. They are more likely to say they connect to tell friends and family what they are doing (22 percent), to get ahead at work (13 percent) and to not miss out on fun activities (13 percent).
Top Habits of Highly Connected People
The study's findings reveal the connectivity habits of the approximately one in ten (8 percent) who are the most connected — the "Always On" Americans. The Always On not only own more devices and are more active on social media than the average American, but also use technology to actively initiate conversation, whether by posting original commentary to the web, making many phone calls throughout the day, or sending picture messages to their friends. Demographically, the Always On are more likely to be female or Millennial, and are more likely to have children than other Connectivity segments. The most common connectivity habits of Always On are:
- Gear up for being on the go. Mobile devices are an integral part of the Always On lifestyle.
- The typical member of this group does not own just one device, but rather owns more than four different devices (4.1), which is more than one device greater than the national average (2.8).
- They lead the pack in virtually all types of device ownership, especially laptops (81 percent own them), smartphones (72 percent), DVRs (64 percent) and tablets (46 percent).
- But don't assume they own a desktop — only 62 percent do, the lowest level of ownership across the seven personality types.
- Keep your friends close and your devices closer. The Always On put a premium on technology that keeps them connected when on the go.
- Most Americans say that they are most concerned about losing their purse or wallet when traveling (52 percent), but the Always On are most concerned about losing their mobile phone (36 percent). The Always On would also rather lose their luggage, car keys or house keys than a cell phone or laptop.
- Half (51 percent) say they have lost their phone or Internet connection and have experienced "withdrawal symptoms," which is twice the national average (26 percent).
- Compared to the national average, more than twice as many Always On have been asked to put down their phone when eating with friends or family (37 percent).
- Stay in touch, from a distance. For most Americans, screen time is preferred to face time when interacting with others, but the Always On exhibit this behavior in the extreme.
- Three out of four Always On (76 percent) prefer to use technology, such as email, phone or text messaging, to connect to their friends rather than in-person communication; and two-thirds prefer to use technology to communicate with their co-workers (66 percent) and family (62 percent).
- By comparison, two-thirds of American adults favor remote technology over in-person contact when communicating with friends (65 percent), three in five favor it when talking with co-workers (60 percent) and half prefer technology when communicating with family (54 percent).
- Acquire affection from afar. The Always On prefer to connect to those they care about from a distance, and feel closer doing so.
- Nine out of ten (88 percent) Always On say that new technology makes them feel closer to family and friends, as opposed to feeling more isolated (12 percent).
- This is higher than any of the other segments, as well as 12 points higher than the national average (76 percent).
- 47 percent of the least connected among us — the 2 percent of Americans who do not use phone, text, or email to communicate — report that new technology makes them feel more isolated.
- Keep them posted. Always On have a behavioral preference for self-expression.
- While most Always On use technology to receive updates from family and friends, they are also more likely than any other group to primarily use technology to broadcast what they are doing (22 percent).
- Reach out. Always On use technology to make new connections.
- Most people use technology to stay in touch with people they know (91 percent). However, twice as many Always On are using new technology to connect to people that they want to know (19 percent), compared to the average.
- Plug in for a power lunch.
- The Always On are most connected at noon, when more than nine in ten (93 percent) are using a digital device.
- During the lunch hour, Always On are more likely than the other segments to be using their mobile phones (36 percent).
Take the Survey, Review the Findings
To determine your Connectivity Personality, a condensed version of the survey can be taken at http://blog.broadcom.com/connecting-everything/whats-your-connectivity-style-take-the-survey-to-find-out, where you can also access a full report on the survey findings and accompanying infographic.
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