Americans’ ability to take their phones and conversations anywhere has led to changing attitudes regarding where and when to use them. Asurion, the global leader in technology services, released findings from its 2018 Mobile Manners Survey today, which found that American’s no longer think twice about pulling out their mobile phones in places such as public bathrooms, and are not shy about the personal topics they discuss.
The survey measured phone use trends among more than 1,300 U.S. adults1 and uncovered some interesting insights, including:
- Restrooms are the new phone booth. Nearly 45% of people have talked, texted or checked their phones while in a public restroom. And it isn’t an anomaly. Nearly 10 percent say they use their phones in public restrooms at least once a week. One in 7 said the person they were talking with knew they were in a public restroom and didn’t care.
- Who Cares About First Impressions? More than 20% of Gen Y-ers admit to having texted or taking a call while on a first date.
- From Table Talk to Table Text. Nearly 60% of adults admit to pulling out their phones at the table while out eating or drinking with others. Of those, 75% said their table companions didn’t mind.
- Overhearing is Oversharing. More than 20% say they’ve overheard strangers having public phone conversations about sex.
- Everyone Can Hear You. One in 7 feel it’s acceptable to use their phone’s speaker function while talking in public.
- You Want Me to Stop? Nearly a third 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.
Public Conversations – How Much is Too Much?
Most respondents – roughly 85% – say they’ve overheard strangers’ phone conversations covering highly personal or illegal topics simply while in public places such as grocery stores, coffee shops, or walking down the street. Topics ranged from fights over infidelities, arrangements for buying or doing drugs, bankruptcy, and intimate details of people’s sexual encounters. Once upon a time, these conversations would have taken place behind closed doors.
“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. “Our Asurion tech experts are constantly monitoring the latest tech trends and attitudes in order to help thousands of customers get the most from their tech devices every day.”