New Survey: When Is It Ok To Use Your Cell Phone?

As excitement surrounding the new Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reaches fever pitch, TheStreet (NASDAQ: TST) released results from a new survey with GfK1 that answers the ever-present question of when it is acceptable to use a cell phone.

TheStreet Asks Consumers a Technological Age-Old Question

TheStreet Asks Consumers a Technological Age-Old Question

The survey asked over 1,000 adults when they thought it was acceptable to use a cell phone, looking at specific scenarios. Results showed that age groups varied significantly in their opinions, with 18-49 year-olds being more accepting of cell phone use than those over the age of 50 when walking down the street, while watching TV, during a work meeting to share information with the group, while eating with others in a restaurant to share information with the group and for personal use and at the movies during previews.

“Cell phones are everywhere, and people differ in their opinions of where and when it’s most acceptable to use them, either calling, texting or spending time on the Internet. It’s increasingly becoming a greater part of our lives,” said Chris Ciaccia, Technology Editor for TheStreet. “From walking on the sidewalks to watching TV with loved ones to being in a work meeting, cell phones are taking time away from older forms of communication as people are on their phones more than ever.”

The survey looked at a variety of scenarios including:

  • When in the street or checking out at a store:
    • 65% of respondents said that it is acceptable to use your cell phone while walking down the street (2% texting/browsing, 17% talking, 46% both).
    • Men were more accepting than women of cell phone use while walking down the street with 70% of men approving versus only 60% of women.
    • Checkout counters were considered to be much less acceptable with only 34% of respondents saying that it is ok to be on your phone while checking out at a supermarket or retail store.
    • 18-34 year-olds were the most accepting of cell phone use at a checkout counter with 45% approving versus only 19% of those over 65.
  • In a meeting at work:
    • When it comes to the workplace, 52% of respondents said that it is ok to use your cell phone during a meeting to share information with the group while only 19% said that it is ok to use your cell phone to check your own messages.
    • 18-34 year olds were the most accepting of both, with an impressive 60% saying that it is ok to use your phone to share information with the group and 22% saying that it is ok to use your phone to check your own messages.
    • 26% of men said that it is ok to check your own messages during a meeting while only 13% of women agreed.
  • While eating with others in a restaurant:
    • 28% of respondents said that it is ok to use your cell phone to check your own messages, but 48% said that it is ok if you are using your phone to share information with your fellow diners.
    • 18-34 year olds were the most accepting of cell phone use in restaurants, with 40% saying it is ok to check your own messages and 62% saying it is ok to share information with the group.
  • At the movies or watching TV:
    • 26% of those surveyed said that it is ok to use your cell phone during movie previews (12% texting/browsing, 2% talking, 12% both) while only 9% said that it is ok during the actual movie (6% texting/browsing, <1% talking, 3% both).
    • 35-49 year-olds were the most accepting of using cell phones during previews, with 41% of them saying that it is ok, while only 9% of respondents over 65 think that it is acceptable.
    • People are much more accepting of cell phone use while watching TV at home with 70% saying that it is acceptable (12% texting/browsing, 5% talking, 53% both).
    • 18-34 year-olds were the most accepting of cell phone use when watching TV, with 78% of them saying that it is ok as opposed to only 51% of those over 65.

The full story from TheStreet is available online.

About the Survey
Methodology: OMNITEL is a weekly national telephone omnibus service from GfK, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The sample for this OMNITEL wave consists of 1,008 total completed interviews, of which approximately 750 consist of landline telephone exchanges and about 250 are made up of cell phone exchanges. Interviews were conducted from August 15-17, 2014. The margin of error on weighted data is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.

About TheStreet
TheStreet, Inc. (www.t.st) is the leading independent digital financial media company providing business and financial news, investing ideas and analysis to personal and institutional investors worldwide. The Company’s portfolio of business and personal finance brands includes: TheStreet, RealMoney, RealMoney Pro, Stockpickr, Action Alerts PLUS, Options Profits, MainStreet and Rate-Watch. To learn more, visit www.thestreet.com. The Deal, the Company’s institutional business, provides intraday coverage of mergers and acquisitions and all other changes in corporate control.  To learn more, visit www.thedeal.com.

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