While kids are often at the heart of the great screen time debate, adults are just as much to blame it seems. According to a new survey led by SellCell, a third of adults use their gadgets during Christmas and Thanksgiving meals. The tradition of bringing the family together for some quality time and good food is now joined by cellphone use during family meals.
Why are adults so keen on bringing their devices to the table, and just what are they doing on those screens during meal times? SellCell has done the research in their latest survey.
For those celebrating Thanksgiving with a family meal, 27% of the US-based adults bring their phones or tablets to the table. If the meal is taking place in a restaurant, the number spikes to 61% of adults using their phone during a family meal.
What Are Devices Used For?
Social media apps ruled as the top reason for users to gravitate to their screens — 50% of those admitting cellphone use said social media was their go-to distraction. Streaming online video was another leading activity at 42%.
The two factors aren’t all too surprising. Social media has people feeling connected, even if it’s causing a disconnect at the actual table, and streaming videos may be the only thing keeping jumpy kids at bay during a sit-down meal.
Twenty-eight percent of adults claimed they used devices to finish up work projects over the holidays. On the opposite side of productivity, 31.97% used devices to play games. It seems multitasking during meals is at an all-time high.
Do Special Occasions Impact Cellphone Usage?
While 26.87% of adults report using their device during Thanksgiving meals, 30.22% reported using devices during Christmas Day meals.
Other special occasions saw different results. Sunday dinners, often seen as the prime time for families to get together every week, saw a higher number of family members on their devices at 37.31%. On the other hand, birthday dinners seem to be held in higher esteem than traditional holiday dinners. Only 22.01% of people reported using devices during birthday meals.
For everyday family meals, 25% of US families devices consistently use their digital devices, a statistic suggesting bringing phones to the table just may be the new norm.
SellCell’s press contact Sarah McConomy tells Parentology, “There’s no doubt as time moves on the use of phones, tablets and electronics at the dinner table will continue to increase. People need to share experiences with the outside world, [thus] chatting with friends continues to increase even during key events like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Electronics firmly will have a place at the dinner table.”
Cellphone Use During Family Meals — Sources
SellCell Press Contact, Sarah McConomy