Yep, It's Rude to Use Your Phone at Dinner

Pew study identifies the latest trends in cellphone use
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2015 12:18 PM CDT
Yep, It's Rude to Use Your Phone at Dinner
This Oct. 24, 2013 file photo shows a youth checking his smartphone in Glenview, Ill.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Most Americans—82% of us—say a friend's habit of burying his face in a cellphone has ruined a conversation. No surprise there, right? But even more Americans are guilty of the practice. A new Pew study of 3,217 adults finds 89% of people have used their phones to talk, text, or snap a photo while out with friends. Does that mean it's no longer taboo? Some stats on the latest in cellphone etiquette.

  • We're obsessed: Yes, it's fine to keep your cellphone on you all the time. Of the 92% of US adults who have a cellphone, 90% say they almost always have it. In fact, 45% say they rarely turn their device off. About 31% say they never do.
  • When cellphones are cool: Even if it's always on you, knowing when to pull out your phone is key. Some 77% of users say it's fine to do so while walking down a street, and 75% say phone use is A-OK on public transportation.

  • When they're not: Just 38% of people think you should use your phone at restaurants, 12% approve at a family dinner, and only 5% think cellphones are cool in a meeting or movie theater. Only 4% of users think it's appropriate to text while at church.
  • Some people want to be anti-social: Some 16% say they bring out their phone when they lose interest in a group. About 23% say they use their phones to avoid contact with others; 10% use them to avoid a conversation.
  • Know your audience: Users 18 to 29 view cellphone use as more appropriate in public and social settings than older adults. For example, 98% of young adults used their phone during their most recent gathering with others, compared to 69% of users 65 or older.
Click for more complete results. (Read more cellphones stories.)

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