August 28, 2015
The Pew Research Center released an exhaustive study this week of US smartphone user habits, with a particular emphasis on etiquette. The findings are interesting, particularly when compared to a similar study from two years ago. Comparing the two, it’s clear to see what the trends are, and how things that we have previously found unacceptable are now creeping their way toward legitimacy.
For example, the amount of people who feel that using your phone while waiting in line is rude has fallen by approximately 15% in the last two years. This is broadly the same with people using their phone in a meeting or during dinner. Using your phone while walking the street, on public transport or while driving a car has also become more acceptable (though the Mythbusters have recently provided evidence that talking while driving, no matter how you do it, is really unsafe).
There are a few areas where we have become more intolerant. Using your phone in church, for example, has become a huge no-no. Of those asked, 95% agreed that it should not be done, which is another 15% rise on two years ago. Using your phone at the movie theater has also become less acceptable – though it’s not quite as bad as using your phone at the stage theatre, an issue raised by Benedict Cumberbatch in London recently.
This study was carried out in the USA and only reflects US habits, and travelers might find that what is acceptable in one country is frowned upon in another – and vice versa. An experienced traveler (such as one who has taken advantage of Telestial’s excellent rates) will take the time to check these unspoken rules in the countries they are visiting, so as to avoid embarrassment or discomfort.