Perhaps It’s Time to Put down That Phone During Thanksgiving Dinner

Perhaps It's Time to Put down That Phone During Thanksgiving Dinner

New National Survey Shows Majority of Americans Annoyed by Mobile Devices During This Family Meal

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69%) say they find people’s use of phones and other mobile devices at the Thanksgiving table annoying — but 43% still allow it, according to a new nationwide survey by a West Des Moines branding and marketing agency.

The 2019 Meyocks Thanksgiving Survey of 1,461 Americans shows that despite people’s annoyance, 32% admit to checking or using mobile devices themselves during the Thanksgiving meal.

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“So many Americans are glued to their smartphones,” said Doug Jeske, president of Meyocks, a West Des Moines agency focused on food, agriculture, health and mentor brands. “And, of course, this phenomenon shows up at the Thanksgiving table. It’s ironic that most Americans say they want to be with family at Thanksgiving while disconnecting with them when they are there.”

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This year’s survey also showed:

  • Politics: Despite the 2020 presidential campaign gearing up, only 17% of Americans say politics is usually discussed at the Thanksgiving table. That’s down from 24% in 2016, the first year the Meyocks Thanksgiving Survey was taken.
  • Popular topics: Family joys remain the most popular topic at the Thanksgiving table, cited by 54%. Other popular topics include Black Friday shopping and the upcoming holidays.
  • Dietary needs: Special dietary needs don’t appear to be a priority. More than three-fourths of Americans (78%) say their Thanksgiving meal has not focused on vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free options over the past few years.
  • Praying at the table: One in five Americans (20%) say they never say a prayer at the Thanksgiving table. That’s up slightly from 17% in 2016.
  • Mac and cheese: For the first time, mac and cheese made the list of top 10 dishes served other than turkey. Three of 10 Americans (30%) say mac and cheese is typically served at their primary Thanksgiving meal. The top dishes continue to be mashed potatoes (81%), pie (79%) and dinner rolls (75%).
  • Groceries delivered: Nearly one in five Americans (19%) say they’ll have groceries delivered for this Thanksgiving.
  • Holiday injuries: About 15% say someone in their family has been cut or injured while carving a turkey.

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