That’s the way it is with Americans today, according to a new cellphone etiquette study from technology developer Asurion – places and situations where taking or making a phone call was previously taboo have largely gone by the wayside. Americans will often use their mobile phones in places such as public bathrooms and are not shy about the personal topics they discuss.
In fact, one of the advantages of the phone booth was the relative privacy. That’s not the case in a public bathroom, but that has still become the new phone booth, according to the survey – nearly half (45%) of people have talked, texted or checked their phones while in a public restroom. One in 10 people surveyed said they use their phones in public restrooms at least once a week; additionally, one in 7 said the person they were talking with knew they were in a public restroom and didn’t care.
Among other findings from the cellphone etiquette study:
- Nearly three in five adults said they had used their phones at the table while out eating or drinking with others. Of those, three quarters said their table companions didn’t mind.
- One in five of those surveyed said they’ve overheard strangers having public phone conversations about sex.
- Nearly 33% said they’d be offended and wouldn’t change their actions if someone asked them to get off their phone while in a public place.
- Eighty-five percent of respondents said they’ve overheard strangers’ phone conversations covering highly personal or illegal topics simply while in public places such as grocery stores, or walking down the street.
“Mobile phones have allowed us to manage our personal lives, our homes, and our work from anywhere, and this has led to evolving behaviors and attitudes regarding where and when it’s OK to cross-pollinate these aspects of our lives through talking, texting, and social posting,” said Asurion spokesperson, Bettie Colombo, in a prepared statement.