Infographic: Americans’ guide to mobile etiquette

Is it rude to use your phone at a restaurant or on public transportation? What do other people really think of you when you pull out your mobile device? Find out here.

You’ve seen it: A group of people hanging out at a restaurant or social event—a get-together in which they clearly planned to meet—and everyone has their head down, looking at their phones. They’re not talking to each other.

It’s not just teenagers—adults are guilty of it, too.

A photographer recently shot a series of photos in which he asked couples and families to pose with their mobile devices, and then omitted the phones and tablets from the shots. The resulting images are haunting.

We’re all guilty of scanning Facebook, sending texts or browsing the Web on our phones when we’re commuting, waiting in line or simply have a few minutes to spare. Have we taken the habit too far, though? What is proper mobile device etiquette, anyway?

Using a poll from the Pew Research Center, Column Five explores this topic in an infographic.

Pew found that 82 percent of American adults say people hurt the ambiance and conversation when they pull out their phones at a social gathering, yet 31 percent of Americans say they never power down their phones.

What do you think? Is it ever acceptable to be on your phone when you’re with others? Is it OK to talk on the phone when taking public transportation? What about at a restaurant?

Please sound off in the comments, and compare your opinion against the findings in the infographic below:

(View a larger image.)

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