Do you feel the need to decorate your smartphone with special wallpapers or ringtones, or are you fine with the choices given from the factory? New research indicates that smartphone users in South Korea are more likely to personalize their smartphones than Americans because they are more concerned about how other people see them.
People in South Korea often decorate their phones with charms, stickers, ringtones and fancy wallpapers, while Americans are more likely to stick with the factory look. Researchers believe this is because Americans value self-expression and are not concerned as much about their social perceptions.
“People from Eastern cultures tend to be more motivated to change the look and sound of their mobile phones than people in western countries,” said S. Shyam Sundar, co-director of the media effects research lab for Pennsylvania State University.
Sundar explained that members of Eastern culture are often more influenced by others in the way they behave, and they are curious about how others look at them.
The study assessed 400 American college students and 205 Korean college students through a 112-question survey. The questions asked how the students perceived their social identities and what they did to promote themselves in society. According to the results, people are now starting to see their phones as an extension of themselves, not just a tool to get through the day.
“The more you customize your phone for aesthetic reasons the more it reflects who you are. You see your phone as yourself,” remarked Sundar.