When to Google: a guide

June 30, 2013, 2:32 PM GMT+0

People rarely think that googling while doing something else is appropriate - except when watching TV.

The increasing ubiquity of smart phones and tablets has created a dilemma that would have been unthinkable even recently. When, exactly, is it appropriate to hunt down information on the internet? Some may seem obvious - don't google something when you're driving - but others can cause confusion.

The latest research from YouGov answers many of these questions. Americans are generally hostile to using google while doing other things. Only googling while watching TV (70%) is regarded as appropriate by a majority of people. It is regarded as the least appropriate to google something while having an 'intimate moment' with a partner.

Attitudes to googling vary quite significantly according to age, with the younger generations being much more supportive of using google while doing other things. 45% of people aged 18-29 think it is acceptable to google while socializing, compared to only 26% of over 45 to 64 year-olds.

The differences in actual behavior are, on at least one certain topic, a point of division between men and women. 36% of men say that they have googled while in the bathroom, compared to 24% of women who admit doing the same thing.

Regional differences are generally minor, but interestingly people in the Midwest (13%) are more likely than the rest of the nation to say that googling while on a date is acceptable.

Complete results are available here.

Not yet a member of YouGov? Make your opinion count by joining today!