Brits Can't Finish Dinner Without Sneaking a Look at our Phones

By Holly Brockwell on at

New data from YouGov shows we're a nation enslaved by our smartphones, and over half of us can't even clear our plates without a quick look.

Research by YouGov Omnibus' survey service says 55% of us check our phones during dinner, and 53% said they still do while eating out with friends and family (but less often, apparently. Yay).

Parents with kids at home were even worse: 62% said they're scrolling Facebook while their offspring eat their greens.

We don't stop after dinner, either: 65% use our phones before we go to sleep, and 45% use them if we wake up in the night. Hope you're all using Night Mode, otherwise you ain't getting back to sleep.

Worryingly, 15% said they use their phones while driving – we sincerely hope that means hands-free. Checking your Instagram likes isn't worth someone's life, yo.

Surprisingly, only 75% of us said we check our phones at work. Really? A quarter of Brits just... ignore their phones while they're working? We can only assume these are people whose phones get locked away at the start of a shift, because otherwise that is some major willpower and we're jealous. Memes are the only thing that makes meetings bearable sometimes.

The data is from April this year and has been released as a vehicle to promote the V&A's new techxibition, 'The Future Starts Here.'

It also includes info on how long people say they could manage without their little rectangle of dreams. Spoiler: not very long.

YouGov's Director of Digital, Media and Technology Research, Russell Feldman, comments:

“It will have escaped no-one’s notice that smartphones are taking over our lives. Across the land, the sight of heads bowed over small screens is now ubiquitous. But what our research shows is just how attached to our mobile phones we really are – and perhaps without even realising it.

We can only speculate on the impact this is having in terms of our relationships with colleagues, friends and even close family – but our survey does suggest that traditional conversations are being discarded, in favour of checking our latest email, notification or message.”

Clearly, Feldman hasn't seen Three's new ad.