That's why it doesn't surprise me that more and more people are using their phones while dining out. Getting on your phone or listening to the baseball game clandestinely during a dinner out used to be considered the height of rudeness. Is that no longer the case in our internet-smothered society?
(Thanks to Impact Lab)
According to an infographic put out by market research firm Lab42 (shown on the Mashable social media news site), apparently it is.
The numbers are actually kind of staggering when you put them all together.
There are some interesting stats on that infographic, so I encourage you to go take a look at it. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me, though.
1) A whopping 85% of respondents trust online reviews from fellow diners over food critics and professional reviews on food sites and the like. That floored me because I know what a lot of people think about the general public. I hope that those who answered this in the affirmative actually take all of the reviews together and use their brains to sift through the idiots out there. I think this shows that the "common" people actually trust their compatriots to steer them right more often than they do their "betters" who are being paid to put this stuff out there. This might get blurred a bit when you talk about smaller sites who may not fall into either category easily (I know somebody who does this, and I would say she would fall into the group that's more trusted, even though I believe she's getting paid for it).
I wonder whether this is true for book reviews as well? I could be sitting on top of a gold mine!
(Thanks to Bucket & Boomers)
2) The primary reason for using your smartphone during dinner is taking pictures of your food.
Really? Taking pictures of your food is the most popular? That seems to be true, at 24%. A full 19% post Facebook updates (doesn't mention Twitter, so not sure whether that's factored in or not). I would bet that a good number of those food pics are actually posted as part of the updates, too. When you're eating out, you have to share with everybody what you're eating! Boy, doesn't this look delicious?
I found doubly hilarious that 13% of people are spending their time on their phones while eating by looking for someplace to go afterward. I guess it's too much to ask to have made plans in advance? The truly funny part, though, is that 70% of these people are men. I guess that just makes sense, doesn't it?
3) It's almost a majority! Fully 49% of people consider their phone at least somewhat important to their dining experience. This doesn't necessarily mean using it during the meal, as I'm sure this includes those who used their phone to find a good place to eat at moment's notice and looked up user reviews and all that. Still, how far have we come where almost half of the population sees their phone as an important part of the eating process?
I'll bet these guys would be shocked now (thanks to Spacecoast Medicine)
So what do you think of all this? Do you find your phone important for dining out? Do you use it while eating? How about setting up your dining out plans? Do you post status updates of your food?
Us curious people want to know.