9% Of Americans Are Bad People, Think It’s OK To Use Phone At Movies

If you’re reading this in your office or on the train, take a second to look around you. About 1-in-10 of the people you see are horrible human beings who think it’s okay to use their phones during a movie. And if you’re reading this at the movie theater, there’s a good chance you’re one of these people.

This is according to a survey about appropriate cellphone use from The Street, which found that 9% of Americans are perfectly fine with texting, Tweeting, or gabbing away in a movie theater while the movie is playing.

You might argue that this is a small number of people, but let’s consider the math. Last weekend’s top box-office earner was The Maze Runner, which took in around $32 million. With the national average for movie tickets hovering near the $8 mark, that means approximately 4 million people paid to see just that one movie over the weekend.

And if 9% of these moviegoers were indeed okay with staring at their phone screens instead of the movie they paid to see, that means that around 360,000 Americans — around the entire population of Tampa — were either bothering the rest of us with their glowing telecommunication devices or would have been willing to do so if they needed to Snapchat with a pal.

Nearly three times that many people (26%) say it’s acceptable to continue using your phone at the theater while the previews are showing. They might have an arguable point, especially since most of us have already seen the trailers we want to see thanks to the Internet. But still, it’s a bit rude.

Only slight more (28%) said that using the phone while at dinner with others is acceptable. To us, whether or not this is a no-no probably depends on the casualness of the meal. If I’m at a nice restaurant, the phone stays in my pocket and I’d expect others to do the same, but if the Consumerist crew is chowing down on riblets at Applebee’s (do they even sell those anymore?), it doesn’t seem as rude for someone to occasionally check their messages.

This is where we find out if y’all agree with us on the phones-at-the-movies thing:

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