Mobile Future

The Social Impact of Mobile Connectivity In Our Everyday Lives

Is it acceptable to use your mobile device at a dinner party? What about at the movie theater? The majority of Americans would agree that the answer is probably, “no.”  A new Pew Research Center study measures our views on mobile etiquette. For many, mobile devices are always present and nearly 50% of Americans say that they rarely ever turn their phones off. This constant mobile connectivity is creating new rules about what is deemed socially acceptable. Pew asked people to reflect on their mobile usage at a variety of social gatherings and public spaces.  Among the findings:

  • 95% are against using a mobile device at a movie theater;
  • 88% are against mobile usage at a family dinner, but at a restaurant people are split more evenly – with 63% against and 38% saying it’s ok to pull our your phone;
  • On public transit – 75% are for it; and,
  • 74% agree it’s ok to use while waiting in line.

Across the board, it is clear is that Americans find it hard to ignore their phones and would prefer to always be connected.  Pew found that people often use mobile devices for pro-social behaviors, such as connecting with new friends on social media or taking photos rather than for anti-social purposes.

All Americans, regardless of their age, usually come to the same conclusion: the more intimate a setting gets, the more important it is for you to put down your mobile device.

Find the full study, here.