texting and phone use during dinner

so this blogger basically entitles his post, “I Will Check My Phone At Dinner and You Will Deal With It.”

i would comment on his post but wordpress has this really annoying thing of keeping you on the email subscription forever so that if the blog post is very popular, anyone who makes a new comment will force that blog at the top in your ‘my comments’ page. ever months after you’ve lost interest in that post.

[if anyone knows how to stop this, please let me know. and if there’s no way to stop this then wordpress should really consider fixing this problem. man do i miss vox!]

i think my comment would have basically been, “wow – you’ve spent a lot of energy justifying why it’s okay to be rude.”

he refers back to his mother a lot and basically goes on and on about how the older generation (or any generation) needs to basically just deal with it and change. well, i’m not from that older generation. i’m a total geek – and a bit of a gadget geek. i’m also a mother and i know one rule that will stick in our household – there will be no texting or using one’s handheld device at the dinner table. not at home nor when we go out to a restaurant – even if it’s a pub.

i’m not saying this should be everyone’s rule within their household, but i don’t at all see why it’s a negative rule, as this blogger seems to make his point around. or… maybe he’s yet again, making justifications of his rude behaviour, well… basically to his mother. because really, he’s going on and on about how surfing/texting enhances the social experience. right… true to some degree on those off-hand occasions that don’t last more then a few minutes. because if you’re having a meal with peers who all do the same thing, i can somewhat see that if the surfing involves the discussion (i.e. looking for information). i can’t, however, see how his reasoning here applies at all to his mother. and really, if you’re hanging out with friends and spending all the time surfing – together or not – i question how deep the friendship really is. but more on that later.

if he, as he puts it, has to text under the table, pretending all the long to be looking at the menu, then i would like to ask this person, ‘how exactly is this enhancing your social experience with your mother?” he claims that talking on the phone and engaging in texting where it obviously takes up a good amount of time at the table, excluding others, is the exception to his rule. so in the scenerio where he’s secretly texting so that he doesn’t get in trouble by mommy… how does that escape this grand ‘exception to the rule’ of his? there sits a person who wasn’t born into a generation where being rude at the dinner table is socially acceptable.

and lets face it – as the world lets go of such rules of good manners, we’re seeing less respect for our each other. it’s becoming a truly sad world.

what ever happened to taking in the account the background of the person in which one is dining with? it’s the same as certain cultural traditions – you’re the bigger person to try to abide by such guidelines in hopes to not offend the person/people across from you at the table. is age/generation all of the sudden not something he should factor in?

personally, i don’t have any patience with people who want to be glued to their phone or mobile device. when i make time to go out to dinner (being a full-time, working mother, it’s not like i have all the time in the world to do this), the last thing i want is to sit there and try to have a conversation with a friend only to get interrupted a dozen times because they get a call or an incoming text. if this is the way of the future, we’re going to have a much harder time with meaningful relationships – it’s bad enough that we’re communicating to each other through 140 characters (not that that is bad in itself, i mean the people who do not use any other form of communication – or very little of it).

on a side note, i use to head out with a colleague who was like this. i was amazed with how many times her phone interrupted us. it was hard enough to get a time to go out together. after months of finally setting a date, i felt like she wanted to be left alone with her phone. meanwhile, the plethora of people who texted/called her on that phone during that dinner date, aren’t even part of her life anymore.

simply put – their relationship wasn’t even real. how can a relationship be real if it’s based purely on text messaging or updating one’s twitter/facebook status?

if this blogger feels that this is actually enhancing his social skills, i would like to challenge him to go out with friends and leave his mobile device completely off. i would no doubt predict he will have a hard time to communicate.

and if this is the case, i would further extend my prediction to issues he will have in his interpersonal relationships in the long run. i.e. marriage or even his communication skills with his children.

such things, regardless of the of device, has not changed in how it effects how we communicate with one another.

i can say one thing – i have dinner with my parents and other close family members about every two to three weeks. we sit down and eat with no tv or anything else that we are hooked up to anyway throughout our waking ours of the week. we sit there and we talk. like really talk. and it doesn’t matter what we talk about – it can be serious, entertaining… whatever.

it’s the best. not just because we’re spending quality time with one another, but we’re not aided by devices which eventually is used as a crutch that mimics the appearance of ‘enhancement’. the converstations stand on their own – natural and strong, and not limited to character space where short-form gibberish is required to get a point across.


2 thoughts on “texting and phone use during dinner

  1. I couldn’t agree more. People are always ignoring the person right in front of them just because their blackberry is dinging. I cannot stand it when people don’t make eye contact because they’re reading texts or emails.

    I use to just about blow a fuse at work because people are always walking around without looking where they’re going, reading their emails and running you down.

    Jeez I’m a grumpy old fart.

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