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Broadcom survey finds most common technology personalities

Poll defines connectivity habits, behavior of U.S. adults

OC METRO StaffPublished: December 11, 2012 10:45 AM

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom has released the results of a new survey on Americans’ technology habits. The Broadcom Connectivity Survey polled 2,500 U.S. adults on their use of technology, the devices they own, and their habits in keeping in touch with friends and family. The survey identified seven distinct personality types and the most common technology habits of highly connected people.

The survey found that two central aspects define Americans’ technology personalities: connectivity, which is the level of social media interactivity or device use; and behavior, how web-enabled devices and platforms connect and interact with others.

One of the most significant findings of the survey was that age and gender are the main drivers of connectivity; the most highly connected are more likely to be female a Millennial (ages 18 to 31), while less connected individuals are likely to be male or a Baby Boomer (ages 45 to 64) or Greatest Generation (ages 65 and above).

Here are the direct findings from Broadcom on the survey’s findings on Connectivity Personality Segments:

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).

Next: Broadcom’s Top Habits of Highly Connected People

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