When Is It OK To Use Your Cellphone? [POLL/AUDIO]
According to a new survey, many people in America feel cellphone use is inappropriate in social settings like meetings or the classroom. However, the younger generation seems to be more tolerant of the practice.
The Center for the Digital Future survey found that half of 18 to 29-year-olds believe texting during a meal is acceptable; 15 percent of those age 30 and older agree. A third of the younger crowd claims texting during a meeting is appropriate, compared with 17 percent of people who are at least 30 years old.
Hilary Brennan, an etiquette expert with Socially Savvy in Moorestown, said she is not surprised by the findings.
“Different generations are colliding,” Brennan said. “Older generations have relied on personal relationships developed by conversation, by looking somebody in the eye. Those factors are very much uncommon in the young peoples’ world today.”
She noted young people have grown up in the digital age, and it’s not rare to see a toddler pick up a smartphone and be able to navigate an app.
Is it Inappropriate to Bring Cellphones to the Table?
The survey focused largely on cellphone use during meals. Overall, 62 percent of Americans said it is inappropriate to have a mobile device on the table. At least three-quarters of respondents said texting or talking on the phone during a meal is not right.
Brennan said meal time should be devoted to speaking directly with those in front of you, your family members.
“Regardless of the urge, that pull to continue to glance at your phone, put it away; have certain guidelines within your family,” Brennan advised.
She said parents can be guilty of inappropriate cellphone use as well. They can set a good example by keeping the mobile devices away in certain social settings.
However, the boundaries of the workplace have shifted greatly with technology. Employees, in many cases, are expected to be reachable at all times.
Brennan said people need to go back to the “old-fashioned ideas” of developing a meaningful conversation with each other.
She asked, “Is (a phone) going to look you in the eye? Is it going to give you a hug at the end of the day? It’s not.”