On a survey carried out among adults over 18, in 11 countries located in four different regions of the world: Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia; South Africa and Kenya; India, Vietnam and the Philippines; and Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon, it was found that the vast majority of adults in these countries own or have access to a mobile phone of some kind.
These mobile devises are not basic ones with just voice and text capability; in average, 53% of people in these countries has access to a smart phone, capable of connecting to the internet and execute applications.
The key objectives of the country selection process were to bring together a group of countries that:
Had average income as per the World Bank parameters.
That contained people with various kinds of devises.
Many of these countries have a significant variation in the proportion of its population with smartphones, more basic phones or no phones.
These 11 developing countries use social media platforms and messaging applications
Facebook and WhatsApp are widely used. In all surveyed countries, an average of 64% uses at least one of seven social media platforms or different messaging applications.
In fact, smart phones and social media have merged so well, that for many they go hand in hand. An average of 91% of smart phone users in these countries also uses social media platforms, while 81% of social network users reports owning or sharing a smart phone.
However, 70% of adults in these 11 countries say that mobile phones have been beneficial to the society, but that proportion falls to 57% regarding the impact of social networks. In fact, 27% thinks the social media has been harmful to society.
When it comes to social media, users generally have more chances to highlight the benefits than those who do not use them. Even among users, people’s opinion about social media impact in their personal lives tends to be more positive than their opinion about their social impact.
A majority of mobile phone users (79%) says that the device has helped them to find news and information about important matters. Likewise, 58% of mobile phone users say their devises have helped them with their face-to-face communication, even if when 48% of adults in these countries say that people should be very wary of the effects of mobile phones in face-to-face communication. Generally, mobile phone users tend to associate their devices with feelings of freedom. In each surveyed country, a large proportion of users described their device as something that frees them instead of something that ties them up.