US Trails World in SMS Date Proposals and Meal-Time Texting
America needs to close its SMS dating gap!
Sometimes it's better that the United States isn't at the head of the pack. Eighteen- to 27- year-olds in India and China lead similar-age Americans in asking girls out on dates through text messages, texting during meals and not handwriting letters, according to a survey by the software company Opera. The survey looks only at Opera browser and Opera mobile users but echoes larger trends about changing social mores and the decline of traditional media.
The survey is necessarily biased and limited, since Opera doesn't command a plurality of the mobile browser market and doesn't rank as one of the most popular browsers. However, among the respondents, a number of trends emerge that show the difference between countries like Nigeria or India, where users primarily connect to the Internet with their phones , and countries like the U.S., where people connect through computers at home and at work .
Of the 13 countries for which Opera collected data, only the U.S., China and Germany had a majority of respondents who said they subscribed to print magazines. In India, almost 70 percent of those surveyed never subscribed to a paper magazine. In Nigeria the number was above 70 percent, and in South Africa it was above 80 percent.
There was also a marked difference in mobile technology customs. Only in America, South Africa and the United Kingdom (all around 30 percent) did a majority of respondents consider it rude to be Internet browsing or texting during a meal. In Indonesia, India, China, Nigeria and Germany, over 35 percent of respondents said using the Internet during a meal was either usually or always socially acceptable.
Similarly, only in America did a majority (about 53 percent) say they never asked someone out via text message. The balance between personal and technological dating was about equal in India, South Africa and Poland. But in China (85 percent), Germany (85 percent), Vietnam (about 80 percent) and Indonesia (about 70 percent), the vast majority of those polled responded that they had proposed dates over SMS.
The biggest difference, though, came in how respondents used the Internet. Only American and German (both at 50 percent) and Polish (with a majority of around 55 percent) respondents reported that they connected to the Internet primarily through their PC. For every other country, the vast majority (over 80 percent in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Ukraine) of those polled said they used their phone as their gateway to the Internet .