Everyone is doing it
FAMILY TIME: The family of three spent their time on their gadgets, barely speaking to each other.
Does cellphone usage during meals vary according to the type of restaurant or the age group of the diners?
The New Paper's team surveyed eight eateries over three days, observing the phone habits of Singaporeans during mealtimes.
We went to Marina Square, Bugis, Suntec City, Junction 8, Joo Chiat, Serangoon Gardens, Lau Pa Sat and Marina Bay Sands.
1 WHERE: Marina Square food court
TIME: Thursday evening at about 7pm
WHO: Elderly couple
There were people of all age groups using their smartphones, be it to text, surf the Internet, update social media or to speak with someone.
An elderly couple were engrossed in their smartphones.
The woman was caught up playing Bejeweled, a game that involves swiping jewels around to get the same colours in threes or more.
The man was checking his text messages and call history.
Although both of them had finished their dinner, they remained glued to their phones and neither tried to start a conversation with the other.
2 WHERE: Coffee shop in Serangoon Gardens
TIME: Monday, 6.15pm
WHO: Father and daughter
In a coffee shop that was bustling with people getting ready for dinner, a father-daughter pair were at a table and immediately after ordering their food, the man whipped out his phone.
He seemed to be checking his e-mail, not once looking or speaking to his teenage daughter.
She looked around for a few minutes before deciding to seek companionship in her phone.
Both continued to use their phones till their food arrived about ten minutes later, but put them aside and did not use their phones throughout the meal.
3 WHERE: Toastbox at Marina Bay Sands
TIME: Tuesday, 2pm
WHO: Family of three
A family of three - father, mother and preadolescent son - were seated with electronic gadgets and phones in their hands. The man was surfing the net on a tablet, while the mother was busy replying text messages on her smartphone.
After looking around for some time, the boy pulled out his phone.
None of them talked to each other over a 15 to 20-minute period.
When the couple got up to pay the bill, the man put his tablet on the table and the boy reached forward for it and started to play a game on it.
- DARISHINI THIYAGARAJAN
- Additional reporting by Melody Ng and Yue Yong Sheng