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Survey: Most Americans Say It's OK To Use Cellphones In Social Settings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The vast majority of Americans believe it's OK to use their cellphones in social settings, according to a new survey.

The study on cellphone etiquette by the Pew Research Center found that 89 percent of those surveyed think it's OK to use their phones at social gatherings, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

Steve Simels, of Teaneck, New Jersey, said that should be a no-no.

Survey: Most Americans Think It's OK To Use Cellphones In Social Settings

"No. And also, if you're on a date, turn the damned thing off," he said. "Talk to the person you're dating."

Younger adults more comfortable with social media were more likely than older adults to say it's OK to update your status while with friends.

"I used to be (OK with it)," said Raquel Williams, 19. "And then I was like, 'I'm over it.' It's not that big of a deal."

Eighty-eight percent, however, said it is rude for someone to use his or her phone during dinner.

"It's always better to step off to the side, and I don't like having dinner with people on their phones. I guess I'm like my grandmother in that way," Wesley Allsbrook told CBS2's Meg Baker.

Thomas from Brooklyn said he doesn't use his phone while eating, but knows people who do.

"My friends who can't take five minutes without checking their phone," he said. "I think people think their lives are more interesting than they actually are."

The survey also found that 77 percent of people think it's OK to your cellphone when walking down the street.

That is a real pet peeve of Barbara Newman's.

"They walk into you, or you have to stop them from killing themselves when they cross the street," she said.

Mr. Manners, Thomas Farley, said technology is disrupting normal face to face human interaction.

He said one major no-no is using your phone in a movie theater, and while it may be okay to have your head down texting while on mass transit he has other opinions about phones on airplanes.

"Airplane is one of the last places you can enjoy peace and quiet. First came wifi, now cell service. These seats are tight enough I don't want to be privy to your conversation," he said.

Mr. Manners said it's better to choose people over pixels.

The FCC proposal to allow cell phone use on airplanes is still pending. It isn't just a matter of peace and quiet, airlines may have to install additional equipment to allow in flight cell service.

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