Why Old People Get So Angry When You Use Your Phone During Dinner

Smartphones are a relatively new technology. But older people still have old school ideas about when it’s polite, or impolite, to use smartphones. 

We had Survey Monkey conduct a nationwide survey of people to see how and when people are using their smartphones. We have gathered the results here, focusing on people aged 45-60.

We previously published the results for people 18-29 years old. The results from the 45-60 group follow, and you can see that they have a much more traditional notion of when it’s appropriate to use a phone.

For instance, that old piece of etiquette from the days of the hard-wired phone — that’s it’s impolite to call when someone’s likely to be eating dinner — is still a current standard for middle-aged people, even though young people just don’t care.

It's slightly acceptable to answer a phone call at dinner, but you probably shouldn't do it at all.

Facebook, though, is a different story altogether. Don't even think about checking it.

Text, too, is a big no-no. (Younger people are OK with texting and Facebook at dinner.)

If you're on a date, put the phone away.

Even if it's a business call, don't answer the phone on a date.

Stay away from Facebook on dates. Unless the other person is in the bathroom, then maybe it's OK.

Same rules apply for texting: Don't do it unless the other person isn't at the table.

45-60 year-olds frequently leave voice mail for people. Young people rarely, or occasionally leave voice messages.

And older people are always going to check if you leave a voice mail.

It's unusual for someone 45-60 to call back without listening to a message.

Email is where the day starts. Then news, then Facebook. For younger people email is number one, but Facebook is a strong second.

Do not post a picture of someone 45-60 to Facebook without getting their permission.

And don't tag them, or check them in, on Facebook either.

Now, compare this to the younger generation...

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