Does “dinner for two” sometimes mean “you and your device”?

Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely: even when you’re dining alone, you’re often in the company of your phone—which means you’re in touch with friends and family, with the tap of a screen.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans found that the average adult eats alone during 7.4 meals each week. However, many say it can be a good thing. In fact, the survey revealed that 68 percent of Americans look forward to eating a meal alone.

The top reason Americans eat alone? It’s more relaxing, says 50 percent of respondents. Busy schedules (44 percent) and saving money (38 percent) round out the top three answers.

The new study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, revealed that busy schedules are challenging for Americans in general, and it impacts mealtime is no exception.

The average American says they rush through four meals a week due to lack of time, with two meals being eaten on their feet and/or on the go.

Technology may be changing how we perceive our alone time—and dining beside your phone could be just as good as eating with a friend.

At least half of respondents will partake in some “eat and scroll” for six meals every week, but, two in three (66 percent) say they don’t feel like they’re eating alone when they’re scrolling through their phone.

RELATED: How to Feel Healthy and Less Lonely by Spending Time Alone

Keeping our relationships strong doesn’t always require being together physically (though the average person in the poll ate with another person six times a week—one shy of their “solo meals” tally). According to the poll, three in four respondents (76 percent) feel that engaging with their friends and family on social media platforms helps them feel more connected.

“Today, ‘togetherness’ is more of a feeling than a physical state, and people get creative to stay connected,” said a spokesperson for The Highbush Blueberry Council. “The joy of being together – however you manage it – never changes.”

1. I can relax more                                                           50%
2. I’m busy/rushed                                                            44%
3. Want to save money                                                    38%
4. My friends are all busy                                                 37%
5. Allows me to catch up on my TV shows                      31%

INVITE Someone To Dinner While Sharing This on Social Media…

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