Study: Most People Dislike Phone Use at Gatherings

October 17, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. gathering /ˈgæð ər ɪŋ/ (n.) – an event where people get together
Example: I only see my aunts and uncles during family gatherings.

2. inappropriate /ˌɪn əˈproʊ pri ɪt/ (adj.) – referring to something that is not suitable
Example: People thought it was inappropriate for her to be texting during the meeting.

3. refrain /rɪˈfreɪn/ (v.) – to hold back from doing something
Example: He refrained himself from answering the phone.

4. participate /pɑrˈtɪs əˌpeɪt/ (v.) – to get involved in something
Example:  The man wanted to participate in the discussion.

5. socialize /ˈsoʊ ʃəˌlaɪz/ (v.) – to interact with other people
Example:  Henry’s mother took his phone so he could socialize with his family.


Read the text below.
A survey shows that most people do not like the use of smartphones at certain gatherings.

The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center. Its findings show that 88% of the 3,000 respondents think it is not okay to use a smartphone during dinner. Researchers also looked into people’s views on smartphone use for other events aside from meals. At 94%, almost everyone agreed that they find using phones during meetings inappropriate. In addition, 95% think that they should not be used in theaters, while 96% believe that people should refrain from using their phones during religious services.

While 82% of the participants expressed that using cellphones can negatively affect social gatherings, 89% also admitted to using their phones during social gatherings. Some of their reasons for doing so were to read or send a text message, view an email, or take a picture.

In addition, the participants were asked why they used their phone instead of socializing during gatherings. The top reason, according to 16% of the participants, is that they are not interested in the group’s activity. On the other hand, 15% answered that they simply prefer socializing with people who are not in the group. Finally, 10% responded that their phone use was to avoid participating in the group’s activity.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         When do you think it is okay to use phones during gatherings? Why?
·         Aside from the reasons given, why do some people use their phones instead of socializing during gatherings?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the advantages of having a smartphone? Why?
·         Can you go a day without using your cellphone? Why or why not?

October 17, 2015