It’s a pretty common occurrence: you’re sitting at a dinner table with friends and most of them start using their smartphone, whether it’s sending a text message, updating their Facebook status or perhaps even playing a game. Indeed, social behavior has dramatically changed in terms of what is acceptable and unacceptable.
Although the paucity of mobile manners is becoming ubiquitous with each passing year – particularly among the youth – there are many that are getting fed up with the uncouth behaviors. It was reported last year of one Los Angeles restaurant is offering five percent off its patrons’ bill if they leave their mobile phone at the door with the host.
“It’s about two people sitting together and just connecting, without the distraction of a phone, and we’re trying to create an ambiance where you come in and really enjoy the experience and the food and the company,” explained Mark Gold, chef of Eva Restaurant.
Since more and more are adopting smartphone technology, both developed and developing countries, which nation has the rudest users? According to a new PC Mobile poll, nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of Canadian adult respondents admit to breaking at least one social rule related to mobile phone courtesy and manners.
The Leger survey published the results that might be surprising (or not) to many:
- 32 percent have checked their emails and texts in front of company
- 28 percent have talked or texted while walking
- 11 percent have left their mobile phone’s ringer on during a meeting or in theatres
- 41 percent have used their mobile device in the bathroom
- 29 percent have used their mobile phone in a hospital when they are not supposed to
In addition to these findings, close to one-third (32 percent) of adult respondents with children and have mobile phones have admitted that they have taken their child’s cellphone away as a method of punishment for bad behavior, poor grades due to the mobile phone and/or a large, unexpected bill.
Furthermore, parental acceptance of mobile phone usage at the dinner table or out with family among children is growing. Similar surveys conducted by PC Mobile have found that the establishment of mobile phone etiquette has dropped every single year since the survey was performed.
“As a parent who uses her smartphone extensively, I understand the desire to be attached to your device 24-7, but there are times when you need to unplug as well,” said Kathy Buckworth, a noted author, parenting expert and Chief Family Advisor for PC Financial®, in a statement. “While mobile phones are handy tools, parents still need to take steps to ensure that their kids aren’t constantly distracted by their devices and know when to turn them off, such as at the dinner table or in the classroom.”
In the end, the most popular features that mobile phone users utilize are making telephone calls (68 percent), sending text and photo messages (54 percent) and shooting emails (26 percent). One expert at PC Mobile warned that these functions and others can bring a surprise at the end of the month.
A key question that should be asked is if a mobile phone etiquette initiative will be launched akin to netiquette.