Clockwork Banana wrote:
"But that is just it! Sometimes a calculator is not available on the spot. Take this for an example: You are on the floor working in a store which is running a promotion of say, Buy Two and get one Free. The customer comes up to you and wants to know how much each item will cost under the promotion. Or the deal is 30% off, and again the client wants to know what the discounted price is. If you cannot at least do that very basic math in your head, then you are going to look somewhat unprofessional."
The problem is that this isn't long division, it's basic arithmetic, and I think you'd have an extremely hard time finding a school that doesn't teach this. Sure, you can find people who didn't learn it well, or don't care, but the bullet point in the survey talked about "having to learn it" and this level of math is still in the curriculum. On the other side, the number of times I've been called upon to perform long division on the spot in my everyday life is roughly never and I work in a tech field. The reason long division has fallen out of favor is that it's just not all that useful to everyday life (at least in a situation where you can't procure a device to help you solve it) and as I said before, there's nothing stopping anyone from learning it on their own or teaching it to their own kids.
"Yes, it is still perceived as rude to read, or based on other threads I have read, knit or crochet, whilst in the presence of a group. But somehow, the constant checking, texting or game playing on a mobile device gets a pass."
I suspect that the people who feel that reading in a group is rude also feel that playing a game in a group would be rude. The difference is that more people have taken to the idea that neither of these things is necessarily rude any more. The "constant checking" however, deserves special note because I find that it's very subjective. I was out once with my brother and his wife, and several others. One of those others told me later that my brother's constantly dealing with his cell phone was annoying to him. But I was there, and my brother "dealt" with his cell phone twice in the course of more than five hours, and neither time for more than ten seconds. Now, I do understand that there are plenty of people who are much worse than that, but at the same time I've taken pains to examine my perceptions and I've found that more often than not, the large majority of people don't spend excessive amounts of energy on their devices when in groups.
"In other discussions people have said that a teen playing with a portable game at the home of his parents' friends is OK because he'd otherwise be bored. I disagree because there will always be times when we can't do what we'd prefer to do at the moment."
I find this to be situational, because there's a range of interaction among everyone present to be considered. To give an example from my youth, my parents attended a dinner party and took myself and my brother along. We were told to be sociable and not to disappear to do our own thing, but when we arrived, the "hello" and a handshake were the last things the hosts ever said to us. The conversation involved subjects beyond our ability to participate and so we sat silent for several hours and then left. It's easy to say that them's the breaks, but at the same time I can now comfortably say that the hosts were very rude to exclude two of their guests entirely from the proceedings, and so if I found myself and my kids in the same position I wouldn't consider them rude to go read or play a device rather than sit in a chair and be ignored. In a situation where the hosts or other guests were engaging them in conversation, I'd expect them to participate, but if not then they'd get a pass just like any adult that got entirely ignored by the hosts.