Smartphone etiquette: have you lost touch?
A new survey reveals the shifting attitudes among the mobile generation
Social norms are being reshaped by the emergence of smartphones and social media, according to Pew Research. The following stats are based on a “nationally representative survey of 3,217 [US] adults on Pew Research Centre’s American Trends Panel, 3,042 of whom are mobile phone users”, according to Pew. (SOURCE: Pew Research) CONSTANT COMPANION: Some 92 percent of respondents have a mobile phone of some kind, and 90 percent of those mobile users say they carry their phone with them frequently. Some 31 percent never turn their phone off and 45 percent say they rarely turn it off. OI, WATCH IT! Among respondents, 77 percent think it is “generally OK” for people to use mobiles while walking down the street. TECH TRAVELLER: Some 75 percent approve of the use of phones on public transit. (DoublePHOTO studio/Shutterstock.com) ARE YOU GOING TO EAT THAT? Just 38 percent think it is acceptable to use mobile devices in restaurants. BUSINESS UNUSUAL: Respondents generally frowned on the use of smartphones during a business meeting, with a mere 5 percent thinking it is ok. MOB MENTALITY: Of those polled that owned a mobile phone, 89 percent used their device during their last social gathering. Activities performed were as follows: Read an SMS or email (61 percent); took a photo or video (58 percent); sent an SMS or email (52 percent); received an incoming call (52 percent); checked to see if they had received alerts (34 percent); placed a call (33 percent); used an app (29 percent); browsed the Web (25 percent). ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: While 78 percent cited a “group-contributing” reason (such as sharing the event with non-attendees or browsing for information that would be interesting to the group) for using their mobile phone during a social gathering, 30 percent cited “retreating-from-the-group” reasons, such as lack of interest in what the group was doing, or connecting with someone who was a stranger to the group. GENERATION GAP: Younger users are more likely to approve of the public use of mobile phones than older ones. For example, 90 percent of those aged 18 to 29, and 79 percent of those aged 30 to 49, approve of the use of mobile devices on public transport, compared with 71 percent of those aged 50 to 64 and 54 percent of those aged over 64. AGE MATTERS: Younger users are also more likely to use mobile phones for everyday tasks than older users. For example, 52 percent of those aged 18 to 29, and 41 percent of those aged 30 to 49, use their smartphones to look up information on where they are going, compared with 22 percent of those aged 50 to 64 and 9 percent of those aged over 64.