A study carried out by mobile network testing company Global Wireless Solutions found that 71 per cent of Brits use their phones at the dinner table to check social media feeds, message family or friends, or take photos of their food.
The study also showed that eight in 10 people who admitted to using their phones while dining also get irritated when they see others doing the same.
GWS conducted a nationwide survey of Brits’ phone habits in public places and seeing other diners on their devices was the second-biggest annoyance. The British Public’s biggest annoyance was someone talking loudly on their mobile phones at the table next to you.
The study suggested that nine in 10 Brits do not have the patience to wait longer than usual for a call to connect or webpage to load when in a restaurant. Demand for fast connection is higher in restaurants than in other locations where people are willing to wait longer such as on a train, in the car or even at home.
CEO of GWS Paul Carter said: Whether screen-time at meal-time is to your taste or not, there’s no denying it’s become a normal part of life.
“Rather than only being used for ‘critical communications’ such as checking emails or answering emergency calls, we’re seeing people reliant on a connection to carry out a range of activities which are becoming more socially acceptable, even when eating.
“One in 10 even go so far as to say that they would leave a restaurant early if they couldn’t make calls or browse the internet.
“But with people admitting that seeing and hearing others on their phones annoys them, they seem to be applying double standards.”