Pew report: Americans frown upon phone use in social settings

The widespread presence of mobile devices, namely smartphones, have brought about new issues in regards to etiquette, and though over the years a general shape about proper usage has formed, many still bicker about what is appropriate and what isn't. Pew Research recently surveyed a bunch of Americans to find out their opinions on smartphone usage in public, and found that while most people are fine with phones being used when a person is in public, only a small percentage think it is okay to use the phone during a social gathering, whether you're at the restaurant or just talking to someone.

According to the report, which was published on Wednesday, 77 percent of surveyed Americans think it is fine in most cases to use your phone when you're walking down the street, 75 percent think it's fine to use a phone on public transportation, and 74 percent think it is okay to use a phone while waiting in line.

The number starts to decline when it comes to waiting at a restaurant — only 38 percent think that is okay. There's a quick nosedive when it is family dinner time — only 12 percent of people think it is okay to use the phone in that case, only 5 percent think it is acceptable during a meeting or at the theater, and, finally, only 4 percent think it is fine to use the phone while you're at church.

Most people said that using a phone in a group social setting harms the conversation, with women being a bit more likely to lean this way. Not surprisingly, older people are also more likely to perceive this negatively than younger individuals. The catch, though, comes when looking how many people don't follow along with their own thoughts on the matter — 89 percent of people surveyed said they used their smartphone during the latest social event, indicating that while we may frown at others, we're not likely to follow our own set of etiquette.

SOURCE: Pew Research Center