Phones during Meals

Last week I had a guest via Couchsurfing and we had very interesting discussions which we continued over dinner. Both the discussions and the dinner were however interrupted each time my guest’s phone made a beeping sound. He acknowledged that it was impolite, he apologized and then he replied to the text messages he had received.

I began to think that my guest was slightly addicted to phones, an opinion which was fostered when my own phone began to ring. As all of you who have my number know, I usually ignore my phone. More and more calls on my phone went unanswered and my guest became visibly nervous until he took my phone, handed it to me and begged me to answer it.

It is strange to me why people prioritize the message of somebody miles away over the person with whom one is sitting at the same table.

My recommendation for meals, cinemas, church services, romantic walks and any other gathering is to turn off your phones. When A and B meet, why should C be allowed to interrupt them? Especially if C can leave a message to which A or B can reply later.

For those however who are too addicted to turn off your phones, I suggest the following rules when meeting for lunch or dinner:

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Food, Life, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Phones during Meals

  1. g says:

    I have an phone jammer that works in a twenty foot area and kill the phone inside of my area it is amazing to see people panic when their phone wont get a call they will redial the number at least 5-7 times holding it up and waving it around usally they will get up and walk around to try to get the phone working, when they get out of range the phone will work and once they get it working they alway want to return back to the my area until their phone goes out again, its fun to watch them , but i got it so i could have peace in my area , The first time i used it was at the picnic table when the wife and all the kids were sitting and everybody was talking or texting ,ever since then i use it when people violate my space!

  2. “It is strange to me why people prioritize the message of somebody miles away over the person with whom one is sitting at the same table.”
    Because that somebody miles away over the phone could be a much more important person in your life than who is sitting at the table!!!!

    • “Could be.” Exactly. But looking at the phone to find out is already impolite. It tells your dinner guest “I really don’t want to meet with you. I am just putting up with you because X is not in town today.”

      Also, continuing with your logic, that means that you should never answer your phone during dinner or a romantic walk with the most important person in your life because it’s impossible by definition that the caller will be more important than that person.

    • Claudio says:

      Brilliant @Andreas

  3. Now, now, phones are completely acceptable at the table! The handsets make good mashed potato scoops, the bases make excellent serving platforms, and in a pinch, you can spray-paint the cords red and slip them into the pasta with tomato sauce. ;)
    For cellphones, I recommend the same treatment oysters get … :D

  4. Because with the rise of technology and social media outlets people are becoming more and more anti-social. They would rather play around with their phones than, say, read a book, or *gasp* enjoy the company of the person they’re with. Now, if they don’t like the person they’re with, then they should just leave rather than play with their phone as if to say, “I don’t like being with you but I have to be so I’m going to fiddle with my phone any chance I get and I don’t really care if it bothers you.”

  5. Georgina says:

    “It is strange to me why people prioritize the message of somebody miles away over the person with whom one is sitting at the same table.”
    Because the health of the person with whom one is sitting can be easily verified. Since few people have my mobile number – it could be important. Children ill, etc.
    However, I agree that it is sufficient to glance at the message in order to verify whether there is an emergency that will necessitate immediate action or just a communication permitting one to continue the pleasant company of one of the few people still able to use correct English.

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