NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Eating solo has become more popular in recent years. What used to take guts, now is easier with a little help from hand held devices.

But, as CBS2’s Alex Denis explained, by eating alone you could be making others angry.

Nearly half of adults ages 18-79 agree that eating meals alone is a treat, according to The Hartman Group, a research firm that studies consumer trends.

Out of more than 1,500 people surveyed, 43 percent said they choose to eat alone as a way to catch up on other activities.

“Typically I try to get some work done while I’m eating alone,” Amanda Long said.

“You sit there on your own, checking twitter, and social media, and stuff like that,” Mark Bevan said.

These are common occurrences in restaurants, that etiquette expert Thomas Farley said have been known to offend.

“It used to take confidence to dine alone. You had to look out and say ‘I’m alone, and I’m okay with that,’ now you got the device which means you’re taking 1, 2 hours, then break out the laptop,” Farley said.

It’s all part of a new trend, the tech world infringing on common courtesy.

“If you are not ready to make your order because you are worrying about instagramming the decor, that’s a problem,” Farley said.

And another new fad grabbing attention.

“If you happen to catch someone talking to themselves while dining solo, look a little closer. She’s not alone, they may have a virtual companion,” he added.

If not done respectfully this behavior can truly bother other diners.

“If they’re belligerently laughing, maybe that would be annoying,” Mary Bowles said.

Another issue peeving patrons, taking too long to pack up.

“I think everyone needs to be conscious of other people waiting and just be polite,” Tisha Jensen said.

Despite some disdain for disrespectful solo diners, don’t ditch your devices or your table for one just yet.

Overall people admit that the problem isn’t the phone, it’s how you use it.

Mind your manners and everyone will enjoy their meal.

The study also found that 53 percent of people eat breakfast alone, followed by lunch at 45 percent.




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