Hubbard: So what did your data find? How many people are using these things in public restrooms?
Post: Forty-eight percent which still is a little gross, I think.
Bell: As much as there's [are] issues about changing ideas about good manners, changing ideas about etiquette…I think we're also still trying to work out where these things are gonna fit in our lives. I mean, it's really easy to think it's been around forever, but frankly, you know, smart phones like that are less than three to five years old for most…most of us who are regular consumers, and I think we're still sort of working out what's right and what's wrong with them.
Hubbard: I'm sorry, I was only half listening—I was checking my email…I'm kidding! Well, so overall, what's the finding? Is that…it's just that we, as you said, we're all doing it, and we've grown more used to others doing it, and I guess we've sort of found a way to cope with...
Bell: Well, I think there's [are] a couple of things—and I know Anna's probably got a slightly different list. For me, the list…(To Hubbard who is staring at his phone)I'm gonna 3)confiscate that from you in a second. (Hubbard: Haha, sorry!) For me I think the list is these are things that are in 4)flux, right? You know, how we think about our relationships to technology, what we use it for, where it fits in our lives. Those are rules that we're still mapping. And it's gonna take us a little while before they kind of settle out.
Post: Absolutely! I mean, because the bottom line is this technology is allowing you connect with people—people that you do business with, people that you care about—and that side, I think, is fantastic. That 92% of Americans who wish that people used better etiquette with their mobile devices? That to me says that, yes, we're seeing it, but we also care about continuing to shift it to something better.
Bell: There's always a bit of space between the things we say we do and the things we're actually doing, and this study is, for me, firmly in that area, right? We're upset that other people do it, but clearly the data says we're doing it ourselves, too, and sort of playing that out is always fascinating.
Hubbard: (Taking out his phone)It's fascinating stuff and it certainly…it's gonna change the way I use my phone. And I promise I am not gonna use this in a public bathroom.
Bell: Excellent! I love to hear that.