Breaking News Emails
Do you text or otherwise engage with a small screen during a social gathering? A U.S. survey suggests you are not alone, even if you are annoyed when other people do exactly the same thing.
The Pew Research Center survey on shifts in what is acceptable in an always-wired world found 82 percent of American adults say that using cellphones hurt conversation in social gatherings.
But even more people -- 89 percent -- say they used their phones during their most recent get-together, including for texting, talking and for a photo.
Lee Rainie, Pew's director of Internet, science and technology research, said the survey underscored big issues about how technology is disrupting longstanding rules on human interaction.
"We're in the middle of this enormous social transformation where the rules of the road aren't clear and so they're constantly being negotiated," he said.
The survey of U.S. adults showed that 92 percent had a cellphone. Of those, nine out of 10 said they were always with them.
Cellphone use in social settings tends to be tied to the event itself, with 45 percent of people posting a photo or video of their most recent gathering, the survey showed. A smaller number -- 16 percent -- said they turned to their small screen because they had lost interest in the group.