Mobile usage shock: women are emotional, men are egotistical

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At last, an answer to why so many men’s phones are stuffed with photos of their ex-girlfriends. One of the more entertaining sessions at today’s MEX conference came from Tracy Ross from the University of Loughborough, who revealed a bunch of research on how people use their phones – and how they’d like to use them – in the real world.

One project focused on what we store on our mobiles, and why. The results were grouped into five categories: Sentimental, Memorable, Informative, Comical and Entertaining (that photo of your best mate baring his arse with a party hat attached must fall under several of those then). But it also highlighted some differences between men and women.

“With females, it was a mixture of photos and texts which they tended to have an emotional attachment to, and spoke with great sentiment about,” said Ross. “One girl had a text message stored from when she’d performed in a show, from a friend saying ‘You were great, don’t doubt yourself!’. She’d kept that as a real boost to her confidence and self-esteem.”

So how about men then? Do they have a sensitive bone in their bodies? Er, no.

“With boys it’s about social status and ego-boosting material, or for entertaining others,” said Ross. “For example, ex-girlfriends. There’s a lot of bragging going on there.”

Of course, this isn’t to say that a man has a great emotional attachment to and sentimental regard for his ex girlfriends. Isn’t it? Either way, Ross says this kind of research can be useful when planning mobile applications and services for the future. Get set for the Nokia LittleBlackBook handset for men with a colourful social life, then…

Stuart Dredge