‘Table for two’ becomes ‘table for 10’ as Brits show increased appetite for social media at the dining table

New research from Currys and PC World reveals Brit’s love of ‘digital dining’ as two thirds admit to using their Smartphone or Tablet device when out for a meal.

The traditional 'table for two' needs a status update to 'table for 10' according to research out today from the UK's largest electrical retailers, Currys and PC World.  Over half of Brits surveyed (53%) confess to interacting with up to 10 other people over social media channels when out for a meal and a startling 1 in 4 even claim to interact with their dining partner via social media, despite sitting across the table from them.

  • New research from Currys and PC World reveals Brit's love of 'digital dining' as two thirds admit to using their Smartphone or Tablet device when out for a meal.
  • 1 in 3 surveyed believe social media use enhances conversation at the dining table and 1 in 4 believe using a Tablet or Smartphone acts as an ice-breaker.
  • A surprising 1 in 4 also interact with the person they are dining with over social media during the meal: #passthesalt

Phone At Dinner Table

The survey results are announced following news that Facebook has 1billion users a month, superfast 4G mobile broadband technology is being launched in the UK and sales of the new iPhone 5 have rocketed: proving we are more digitally connected as a nation than ever before. 

It perhaps comes as no surprise then that the Currys and PC World study reveals over 65% of Brits can't resist checking their Smartphones or Tablets when out for a meal. From status updates on Facebook and Twitter to checking-in on Foursquare, we have become a nation of 'digital diners'; 2 in 3 Brits admit to using Facebook during a meal out and 1 in 3 confess to using Twitter.  Whilst tucking into a meal, a third of Brits admit to 'posting pictures', 'checking in' and 'updating their status': the three most popular digital interactions.

Despite women being more likely to interact on social channels when out for a meal (70% of women compared to 60% of men) on average men make more posts and digital updates, interacting with almost a third more 'friends or followers'.  Women are much more likely than men to be annoyed by their date checking social media sites during dinner - almost 2 in 3 - compared with just 1 in 3 men confessing to finding it a turn off. 

First date etiquette was the same across both sexes with 1 in 5 revealing that even on a first date, they would use social media channels via a digital device at the dining table.  However, this could have something to do with the fact that 1 in 4 think using a Tablet or Smartphone at the table can be an ice-breaker and 1 in 3 think social media use can actually enhance the conversation.

Despite the positive feeling towards 'digital dining' the majority of Brits (70%) revealed that they only make on average up to five social media interactions during the course of the meal.  20% of diners admitted to making up to 10 interactions and just 2% confessed to making over 20+ social media 'connects' during one dinner date. 

Ben Lovett, a Currys and PC World spokesperson commented: "Tablet sales continue to do well across the business and it makes sense that, as digital devices become more portable and a part of our everyday lives, they should also see more usage in everyday situations.  It's interesting to note that the majority of those surveyed also viewed social media use when dining in a positive light, demonstrating our changing attitudes towards technology use."