News Column

Texting Etiquette Depends on Who Ur Asking

Feb 12, 2013

Cathy Payne

texting etiquette

People often pull out their smartphones at meals or in meetings. But which habits with those devices get a thumbs down?

A new survey finds that many Americans feel using the mobile devices in those settings is inappropriate. But opinions vary by age, according to the survey, out today. Younger people tend to be more tolerant.

The Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, along with Bovitz Inc., a market research firm in Encino, Calif., polled 989 Internet users. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

"We need to find a balance to foster or facilitate communication, not to replace or inhibit it," says Jeffrey Cole of the Center for the Digital Future. Among those surveyed:

62 percent said just having a mobile device on the table during a meal was inappropriate.

76 percent said texting during a meal was inappropriate.

84 percent said talking on a mobile device during a meal was not right.

Yet 33 percent of those ages 18 to 29 consider texting during a meeting appropriate, compared with 17 percent of those ages 30 and older.

Anna Post, co-author of Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition, says: "The good news is that this study shows we still care about putting the person we're with first. That I don't think will change."

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2013

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