No One Likes It When You’re on Your Phone During Dinner, Study Finds

Think no one notices you staring at your phone at the table? Think again
No One Likes It When You’re on Your Phone During Dinner, Study Finds


Even the teenagers in the room think it’s rude.

It’s the classic case of “do as I say, not as I do,” topped with a heavy serving of FOMO, or “fear of missing out” — a new study from the Pew Research Center finds that while 89 percent of people admitted to using their phone during their most recent social interaction, 88 percent of people also believe that it’s not acceptable to be on your phone during dinner.

Of the 3,217 people polled, 82 percent of subjects agreed that using your phone during social gatherings hurts the conversation. When waiting in line, most (74 percent) said it was fine to use your phone — if not then, when? — and 75 percent said it was also fine to use your phone while taking public transportation.

Not surprisingly, younger adults were less upset by the idea of using phones during a social gathering — but even millennials agree that being distracted by your phone during family meals is pretty rude. Among adults 18 to 29, only 16 percent of participants thought it was OK to use your phone at a family dinner; for the group at large, this number was even smaller, at 12 percent.


As for using your cellphone in a restaurant, you’re in the minority if you think that’s cool. Only 38 percent of people responded that it was “generally OK” to do so, which means the other 62 percent of guests in the restaurant are annoyed when that happens.