Is talking on a cell phone in a restaurant ok? - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Is talking on a cell phone in a restaurant ok?

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(KATV)-Is talking on the phone in a restaurant ok? Many restaurants and patrons say no, but it seems there's no way to stop it.

Little Rock Police arrested Jocelyn Thornton, 33, Sunday night and charged her with assault and battery after allegedly attacking Don Francis, 74, and his wife Bettye Francis, 69. According to police, the couple had asked Thornton to refrain from cursing while on the cell phone inside Cuisine of China restaurant on Geyer Springs Road.

Terry Richard, a sociology professor at UALR says violent confrontations like that are unfortunate, but on the rise in our society. He also equates the issue of cursing as a generational issue, in that younger people tend to find cursing more acceptable.

"They feel perfectly comfortable using obscenities that we find extremely vulgar, particularly older individuals. We never used those terms, now we may have used them with friends or colleagues, but never in a public type situation. And it is disturbing now. You can find people with cell phones and their talking to other individuals and they use what we call curse words at a much more frequent level than we've ever seen," Richard says.

Some local restaurants said it's hard to keep people from talking on cell phones in dining rooms. At Trio's on Cantrell Road, they enacted a cell phone policy several years ago, but it didn't work, according to manager Stephanie Caruthers. 

"It seemed the cell phone usage was out of control. I'm guilty of it myself. But we asked our patrons to refrain from talking on their cell phone in the dining room of the restaurant," Caruthers said.

Richard says it's all a part of a changing culture. There's a reason it's called the I-phone. 

"The key term there is I, it's an "I" world or a "me" world, everything is about me," Richard said.

Caruthers said she would hope if there was ever an offensive situation, a patron would approach management to diffuse the issue instead of handling it directly.