Talkin' 'Bout My Generation on the phone During Mealtime

Which generation is most likely to use technology during meals?

Generation Z (age 15-20, that's you, I hope)

Millennials (age 21-34)

Generation X (age 35-49, that's me)

Baby Boomers (age 50-64)

Silent Generation (age 65+)

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. If your parents were asked to predict the answer to this question, how accurate would they be?

  3. What is the most common type of technology that used during mealtime?

  4. Does it annoy you when someone uses their phone to text while you are eating dinner with them?

  5. If you went on a date and your date checked their phone or texted every few minutes what would you think?

  6. What is the most surprising information from this chart?

  7. What is the big story from this information?

  8. Why do you think that is?

  9. What is one consequence of this information?

  10. Is this good or bad news?

  11. Do you believe that it is rude to use technology during a meal?

  12. Write a newspaper "headline" about this information:

  13. Let's make up the name for the next generation - your own future kids' generation - we'll call them "The Bonkers Generation." Using the information form the chart as a guide, describe how much technology this future generation will probably use at mealtime.

  14. How often do you even eat meals with other people?

  15. Do you think that multitasking is generally more effective or counterproductive?

  16. This may be a stretch, but try to explain any connection you can make between the information contained in this chart and the U.S. political system:

  17. In the comments section, describe the use of technology during a typical family meal in your household.


Learning Extension

Read the entire Nielson Report on technology use across the generations.


Action Extension

Ask your parents to predict the answer to the question. Print out this chart, highlight the portion of the chart describing their generation and your generation, then discuss this information over dinner!!!!

Apple Phone Home

As you may know, the FBI has said that accessing the iPhone is an important part of their ongoing investigation into the San Bernardino attacks, while Apple has said that unlocking the iPhone could compromise the security of other users’ information. What portion of Americans surveyed think that Apple should unlock the phone?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this information?

  3. Why do you think most Americans want the phone unlocked?

  4. Explain a consequence (good or bad) of Apple unlocking the phone for the FBI:

  5. How different do you think the answer to this question would be in a country like China?

  6. How do you think party identification impacts individuals' responses to this survey?*

  7. How do you think your generation's response to this survey differs from your grandparents' generation?*

  8. What role has the issue of privacy versus safety played in this year's election?

  9. In the comments section, explain your reasoning for your own answer to this survey question:

Action Extension

Contact the CEO of Apple at at tcook@apple.com or contact the FBI Director and share your opinion about whether Apple should unlock the cell phone:

Learning Extension

Learn more about the results of the Pew survey.

*Bonus chart for questions 6 and 7