Dining and texting? OK, younger you are

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Is it OK to set your cell phone down on the table during a meal? What about texting during dinner? Or, worse, talking on the phone?

What you find appropriate has a lot to do with your age and whether you own a smartphone yourself, according to a new survey by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz marketing research firm.

"Fifty years ago, no parent would tolerate a child answering the phone five times during a meal," Jeffrey Cole, center director, said in a statement. "Now parents face an updated version of that problem when confronting their children about the endless stream of texts they want to answer while the family is together for dinner. And parents use mobile devices, too; it's their struggle as well."

Texting during a meal? Fifty percent of millennials think it's OK behavior, but only 15 percent of those 30 and older think it's appropriate. Just having the phone on the table? Fifty-six percent of millennials approve but only 31 percent of those 30 and older think it's appropriate.

When looking at all age groups, 84 percent objected to people talking on the phone during dinner; a slightly lower percentage -- 75 percent -- of those 30 and under thought it inappropriate.

Age doesn't seem to make a difference on your views if you own a smartphone. While 11 percent of basic cell phone users said it was appropriate to text during a meeting, 25 percent of smartphone owners said it was OK.



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