New book Identity Shift explores how technology and our personal identities are blurring in today’s networked world
Research drawn from thousands of consumers provides unique new insight into the convergence of real and virtual life – including the impact of communications technology on families and individuals
Paris and Plano, Texas, November 29, 2011 – As social networking, smartphones, tablet devices and 24/7 connectivity increasingly transform the way society lives and works, the technology behind it is bringing about a dramatic shift in how people view themselves and others, according to Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age, a new book written by leading market research experts, Allison Cerra and Christina James, from Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris & NYSE: ALU).
The second in “The Shift” series of Web 2.0 analyses, the book looks at consumer behavior across all the key stages of life, from birth to adulthood, and reveals a wealth of interesting findings related to how people at different points in life use, and are influenced by, communications technologies such as:
43% of parents say it is difficult to protect their children from inappropriate content and offensive language online;
63% of young people in the study have “stretched the truth” about themselves to improve their online appearance;
More than half of empty nesters and retirees spend time updating their social networking page to project the right image of themselves;
Seven in ten have ignored friend requests to limit who sees their postings, yet 3 in 4 interact online with people they’ve never met in person; and
There is a 60% correlation between how much a consumer said they trust a brand, and how much they were willing to pay them as a result, revealing the true value of consumer “trust.”
“As more of our lives are being lived on networks and the growing variety of devices that are connected to them, we are exposing more about who we are to others and companies serving us,” said Cerra, who also is Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs for Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region. “Earning the coveted trust of consumers is the key to unlocking new value and creating service potential in today’s networked age. But whether or not you are part of the technology industry, the findings in this book will open your eyes to how people set their public and private boundaries and how they differ across defining moments of an individual’s life.”
According to the research outlined in the book, with technology having such an effect on social behavior and the profiles individuals create for themselves, boundaries between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ lives are breaking down – which is creating both positive and negative implications for consumers
Overview and methodology
The research behind Identity Shift was conducted as part of a year-long effort to help consumers and Alcatel-Lucent’s customers better understand the impact today’s hyper-connected world has on individuals’ perception of themselves and others.
The primary research model utilized is known as Ethnography, a research practice with its roots in anthropology, where an emphasis is placed on close interaction with subjects as a means for understanding their lives and the social dynamics within it.
Research for the book included a quantitative approach based on interviews with more than 5,000 American consumers, as well as with more than 30 in-home visits across the United States to observe subjects in various age groups as they went about their day, and the technologies they are surrounded by throughout that day. Additionally, findings from the research were documented through hundreds of hours of video footage of behavioural and interview observations.
Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age is published by Wiley (ISBN: 978-1-1181-8113-3) and is available immediately through retailers in print and e-book formats. More information on the book can be found at www.theshiftonline.com.
Stay tuned for additional information, research and insights from “Identity Shift” by following us on Twitter at @theshiftonline
A complete list of some of the most compelling findings from the book, can be found here
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About Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU)
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