When it comes to online connectivity, are you more of a “Always On” consumer, a “Live Wire,” or a “Never-Minder?”
A new study commissioned by Broadcom to explore the ways that Americans use technology to connect with each other revealed seven distinct connectivity styles, defined by two key dimensions: Connectivity, or the level of device and social media use, and behavior, or how Web-enabled devices and online platforms are used to connect to others.
Those who are most connected – dubbed the “Always On” – lead the pack by using technology to proactively engage with others. The high-connectivity “Always On” are more likely to be female or a Millennial and have a strong preference for screen time over face time. Comprised of about 8 percent of the population, the “Always On” stand out in many other ways, including:
- They Create: Three in four (75 percent) say they mainly use social media to create new content, nearly six times the national average (13 percent).
- They Carry: The typical “Always On” owns more than four different web-enabled devices (4.1), which is more than one device greater than the national average (2.8).
- They Can’t Disconnect: More than 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).
By contrast, the “Never-Minders,” a group that makes up about 2 percent of the population, avoids phone, text, email or social media communications and admits to being apprehensive about using technology.
Between the two extremes are five other connectivity styles:
- “Live Wires,” comprised of about 35 percent of the population, are highly connected people who are most likely to use technology to stay in touch with family and friends. Most own smartphones (68 percent) and many also own tablets (38 percent) and Web-enabled TVs (24 percent).
- “Social Skimmers” make up about 6 percent of the population, own many devices and are highly connected – but are more likely to use technology to receive information, rather than to engage with others.
- “Broadcasters” are a low-connectivity group that use technology selectively to create new content and tell others what they are doing, as opposed to commenting in a more conversational fashion. They make up about 8 percent of the population.
- “Toe-Dippers” are the largest of the low-connectivity users, consisting of about 27 percent of the population. They primarily use technology to converse with others and mostly use desktop (64 percent) and laptop (54 percent) computers. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) uses a smartphone.
- “Bystanders” are the least connected group, owning few devices and using a limited number of social media sites. They make up about 15 percent of the adult population in the U.S. and are most likely to use technology to keep up with news and current events (31 percent).
What is your Connectivity Style? Take the survey below.
The survey also revealed an interesting trend around the connectivity traits of women, who outnumber men when it comes to mobile device ownership and the ways in which they use tech devices to connect. The study found that 70 percent of women, compared to 51 percent of men, use communications tools mainly to stay connected with family. More of them own laptops than men (67 percent vs. 63 percent), smartphones (47 percent vs 38 percent) and tablet computers (28 percent vs. 23 percent).
Women are also more likely than men to:
- Take a picture with their mobile phones and send it to friends (70 percent vs. 56 percent)
- Record and share a short video with friends (30 percent vs. 24 percent)
- Go dual screen, such as commenting online while watching a television program (34 percent vs. 26 percent)
When it comes to online connectivity, what’s your style? Take the two-minute survey below and find where you live on the connectivity spectrum.