Study: Bad cell phone behavior in public becoming the norm

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More and more of us are tempted to pull out our phone while in a group conversation.

We now carry our friends everywhere we go, and turn to social media to connect. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… social media allow you to connect with others with a few taps on your smartphone. But has it become socially acceptable to keep your eyes glued to the screen around others? Or is it still rude behavior?

In a Pew Research Center survey, 82 percent of adults say that using your cellphone, instead of looking up, hurts the conversation in social gatherings. But nearly 90 percent of them said they used their phones during their most recent get together, whether it was for talking, texting or taking a picture.

Many told said technology is disrupting longstanding etiquette on human interaction. “I’ve been in line at grocery stores where I’m waiting and the cashier is trying to cash someone out and they’re too busy on their phone,” says Jennifer Couture of West Springfield.

Michael Dipon of West Springfield said, “Having a conversation with somebody I think you should give them your undivided attention. I think no matter how accessible these things become it’s still very very rude.”

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The Pew Research survey found 45 percent of people posted a photo or a video of their most recent gathering. 16 percent said they turn to their small screen because they lost interest in a group activity or conversation.

16-year-old Hannah Caracciolo says, “In an awkward situation, then they can feel more comfortable just on their phone, and to communicate with other people rather than spending time with the people that they have in front of them.”

Picking up a cell phone has become a compulsive behavior for many, and many people find themselves more focused on their screen than what’s happening right in front of them.

Pew Research also found about 65 percent of American adults own a smartphone.