Gizmodo has a guide that everyone in the entire world needs to read right this second, called A Practical Guide to Using Cellphones in Social Situations. It’s near-perfect, and this is my favorite:
When is it OK to bust out your phone in the company of friends? Size up your audience and the situation you’re in. Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute says, “Most of us know the friends that we’re close enough to that we can be a bit fluid with mobile device usage. The key is to know who those people are and *when* we can do that. A nice dinner? Not ok. Watching football, probably OK. It depends on who you’re with.”
So, if you’re hanging with a busy little member of Gen Y? Knock yourself out; it’s likely that these consta-texters won’t take issue with your divided attention. But if you’re with someone you’re trying to impress or show respect to, (a foxy lady, your mother, your boss), then it’s best to shut your phone up and give them the face time they deserve. (Note: face time, not FaceTime.) After all, they made an effort to be there—that should take priority over liking an Instagram of a brick wall.