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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Your Computer Desktop Says About You

The following article by Samantha Murphy appeared in TechNewsDaily, based on an unscientific survey Hunch did on its 700,000 members. Some interesting finds:

Credit: Dreamstime

"Computer users with messy desktops are more likely to be liberal, educated city-dwellers who are career-minded and good at math, while those that keep their computer icons neat and tidy are more likely to be young tech-savvy suburbanites that say their personal life is more important than work. At least according to a new survey.

A new study by Hunch.com — a site that makes recommendations based on preferences, ranging from which car you should drive to which vacation or college choice is best for you — suggests your computer desktop says a lot about you, from education level to political views. (The web-based survey is not scientific because, among other limitations, it was not based on a representative sample of the population.)

Hunch used 80 million answers to questions that it asked its 700,000 members to predict particular demographics, personality and other characteristics based on their computer desktop. The report found that gender plays a role in whether or not a desktop is clean: Men are 13 percent more likely than women to have neat desktops compared to women.

Education is also a factor, as messy desktop users are 7 percent more likely to have completed a four-year college degree and 19 percent more likely to have completed a graduate degree.

People who live in crowded cities are also more inclined to keep a cluttered desktop (42 percent), while those that keep it clean are 9 percent more likely to live in the suburbs and 13 percent more likely to live in a rural area.

'Messiness seems to skew two ways; someone may be messy because they use the computer for various endeavors, which could explain why CEOs are more likely to have messy desktops,' Amanda Green, lead author of the Hunch report, told TechNewsDaily. 'On the other side of the spectrum, some people are messy because they don't know how to get organized. They're not that comfortable with their computers, and they may not really rely on the computer enough to let the mess bother them.'

Those with messy desktops — self-described entrepreneurs who are 12 percent more likely to have a stronger aptitude for mathematical concepts and numbers — said that work is an important part of their life and sometimes puts their personal life on the back burner.
Not surprisingly, a person with a messy desktop is more likely than someone with a neat desktop to have a disorganized closet, the report found.

However, neat people, who tend be more tech-savvy (such as knowing how to use external hard drives and how to back-up their computers), are 5 percent more likely to put their personal and social life first and 10 percent more likely to say they work just to pay the bills."

More about desks: 

Kick Your Clutter to the Wall

Visual or ADD Organizers - Keeping Your Desk Organized

Three Steps to Organizing Your Office