You’re standing in line at a coffee shop, and you notice that the person in front of you wants to chat. Do you:
• Offer a smile and engage in conversation;
• Apologize and explain you don’t speak with anyone until you’ve had coffee;
• Quickly glance down at your smartphone to avoid talking with the person?
If you chose the third option, you have something in common with roughly one-third of cell phone users ages 18 to 29. A recent Pew Study found that 30 percent of them “pretended to be using their phone to avoid interacting with the people around them.”
The report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project
surveyed 2,277 adults via phone in April and May. It found that 83 percent of Americans own a cell phone of some kind; 35 percent own a smartphone.
Other notable findings from the study:
• 51 percent had used their phone at least once to get information they needed right away.
• 27 percent said that they experienced a situation in the previous month in which they had trouble doing something because they did not have their phone at hand.
• 40 percent said they found themselves in an emergency situation in which having their phone with them helped.
• 42 percent used their phone for entertainment when they were bored.
• 29 percent of cell owners turned their phone off for a period of time just to get a break from using it.
As for cell phones as tools to avoid human contact, the percentage of people using their phones for this reason drops among older respondents. Among those 30 to 49, it’s 11 percent; 50 to 64 it’s 6 percent, and 65 and older it’s 2 percent.
Have you ever “checked your email” instead of speaking with someone?
Hey, I’m talking