Expatriates embrace social media and technology

The recent NatWest IPB Quality of Life Report has released details of how the rise of social media and personal technology has improved their lives.

79% of expatriates surveyed used social media sites and personal technology to help them keep connected with their family and friends whether back home or where they’re currently living. 89% of respondents said that personal technology had vastly improved their quality of life.

Dave Isley, Head of NatWest International Personal Banking commented: “It’s evident from our Quality of Life Report that social networking sites and apps have revolutionised the way in which British expats keep in touch with friends and family, as well as how they interact with their new social circle.

“The world of social media doesn’t follow the same rules as other forms of personal technology – there are no time zones to respect, there are no limits on how much multimedia can be uploaded, or how many people can be spoken to at once.”

Expats are also using social media sites and modern devices to organise and manage their lives (69%) and also as a lifeline when necessary (64%). 87% of expats owned a smartphone, 83% a laptop, 53% a tablet and 48% a notebook with those living in the USA have the most devices.

80% of expats are a member of at least 2 social networks with Facebook and Twitter being the most popular. The reason why expats are using mobile apps are as follows:

  1. Social media (79%)
  2. Practical shopping and currency conversion (56%)
  3. Navigation and maps (44%)
  4. Mobile banking (38%)

However older expatriates remain to be convinced of modern technology with only 10% of expats over 55 having multiple devices and only 6% of this group using mobile banking applications.