News Flash! Zagat Survey Finds Cellphones Are Annoying in Restaurants

From the Department of the Obvious: Zagat released a new survey focused on the use of technology in restaurants which found that most diners don’t enjoy it when other patrons are talking on their cell phones. 

More than 40,000 people rated restaurants for the 2011 Zagat guide to New York, and 64 percent said texting checking email or talking on the phone is rude and inappropriate in a restaurant. 

Thirty-two percent said this kind of activity was acceptable if done in moderation while just 2 percent said it was acceptable and 2 percent had no opinion (or were too busy texting to answer the question). 

On the bright side, the average cost of meal dropped by a nickel, from $41.81 to $41.76, the first time dining costs had fallen since 9/11. 

Why are cell-phone conversations so annoying while a room full of strangers talking is just pleasant background noise? A recent study found that people become much more distracted by a one sided conversation, or “halfalouge”, because our brains are struggling to make sense of the discussion without having all the necessary information.