The Washington Post | Why you should really, seriously, permanently stop using your smartphone at dinner

Why you should really, seriously, permanently stop using your smartphone at dinner – The Washington Post. <Link

Great discussion posted by Washington Post. We tend to lose our human touch while engulfed in our devices.

Here’s an excerpt from this article:

“So we agreed to meet up on one strict condition: for the duration of the meal, he wouldn’t touch his phone. No e-mails. No Foursquare check-ins. Not a single Instagram. (“That is literally my one birthday wish,” I remember impressing on him. “One hour without the phone. You can do it. Really.”)

By the time the waiter brought our water, he’d already checked Twitter. And far from feeling slighted, I was vaguely bemused: like two-thirds of Americans in 2011, I didn’t even have a smartphone — so the whole thing struck me as almost humorous, like a parody of socializing.

Three years later, however, that situation isn’t particularly absurd. Well over half of all American adults own smartphones. One-third of them use their phones during dinner, that most fundamental of social encounters. And a mounting pile of evidence suggests that my bad birthday lunch, far from an absurdity or a one-off, is increasingly the norm. Our smartphones are hurting our relationships — and that’s hurting us.” – Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Gluing our attention to screens takes away eye contact we would normally have with a person in front of us. It is crazy that it is becoming a norm to have tech at our dinner tables. People are under the impression that they are more connected with the world, but in reality they are not. They are only attached to the VIRTUAL world.

This demographic below explains how serious this issue is:

On a dinner date? Huge turn off. What if your significant other is trying to tell you something extremely important? This leads to major arguments,”you don’t love me!” “boo hoo,” and all that jazz. And really, at your kid’s function? They would be so hurt.

More data on how technology while eating is affecting the child-parent relationship:

A survey last March suggested that nearly 9 in 10 people feel that their loved ones neglect them in favor of technology on a weekly basis. A smaller-scale observational study suggested that, when parents and young children dine together, parents frequently pay the most attention to their phones.

“Parents on smartphones ignore their kids,” headlines blared — reflecting, perhaps, a growing consciousness of (and discomfort about) the subtle ways our smartphones blind us.” – Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Some hopeful measures taken:

Late last week, Applebee’s — the world’s largest casual-dining chain — filed a trademark for something called “No Tech Tuesday,” which is rumored to be in anticipation of a program of the same name. A restaurant in New Jersey briefly fined customers for using their phones. Even D.C., a town where people are rarely far from their Blackberrys, has lately gotten in on the anti-smartphone action: Last week, celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn opened a Dupont Circle speakeasy that prohibits photos.

“Don’t be on your phone,” Mendelsohn told Washington City Paper. “You have the rest of your life to be on your phone.” – Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Rules like these should be applied in all places of dining and more at home. Families are falling apart because of no real “face-time.” There is less affection and attachment between family members and friendships are gratefully becoming global, but are also losing raw emotion.

Give this topic a thought and put away your gadgets when you get some time with family&friends and have a fully engaged, enjoyable meal with humans, not screens.

Follow me on Twitter @nyc_dancer4lyf

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