Are we becoming more tolerant of people talking and texting in public? A new study from Pew Research Center seems to show Americans have better cell phone etiquette in 2012, with less loud or annoying conversations in public while using their phones.Click here for more on the study from Pew.
Or are we just getting used to all the cell phone behaviors? Maybe we're becoming immune after all this time. (Pew is comparing 2012 to responses from 2006.)
They find even though people still encounter loud or annoying phone conversations in public, it's down significantly.
But maybe that's not the case here in New Orleans.
The folks I talked to in the CBD think people are just as rude as ever, maybe even more so, as they use their phones in elevators, theaters, restaurants, driving and now walk into people while they're texting. "Better?" one man exclaimed. "I think people are on their cell phones way more than they used to be. Any time they have a free second they pull out their cell phone and start playing with it."
Another man said, "I know I do a lot more texting than talking," which cuts down on the loud, obnoxious conversations and might account for some of the decrease.
But most people think people are just ruder, even finding new ways to become obnoxious. "People just put on their speaker phone. Going up or down the elevator, they'll just be on their speaker phone."
And another man just can't get over all the public places people are conducting very personal conversations, "In elevators, in restaurants, airplanes...especially in movie theaters."
Witnessing poor cell phone etiquette is relatively common across a wide range of demographic groups says Pew, "Although women are more likely than men to experience this behavior frequently or occasionally; whites are more likely to have experienced it than non-whites; those with at least some college education and those with a household income of $50,000 or more per year are more likely to experience it than those with lower levels of income or education; and urban and suburban residents are more likely to experience it than rural residents."
Most witness others using their phones in a loud or annoying manner Pew says, but few admit to doing so themselves.