Phones at a Meal–A Big No-No


phone-at-restaurant-table

Put the phone away when eating out.

When Miss Meredith Sweetpea goes to lunch or dinner with a friend, she expects to be the sole focus of that friend for the duration of the meal. And vice versa. After all, you’ve set aside the time, energy and effort to spend time with this chosen person–not to sit and watch them interact with faceless others.

What is thoroughly annoying–and in bad manners–is when the other person places his or her phone on the table in front of them in order to continually check its oh-so-important messages. Throughout the meal, the conversation is continually interrupted by the ding of a new message, or the urgency to text back to someone. This makes the person you are with feel much less important and frustrated.

The only time it is acceptable to bring your phone out during a meal is if you expecting a very important phone call, and it is important to let the other person know in advance that you may be interrupted by this call. Otherwise, turn off the ringer and stash the phone out of sight and out of mind to concentrate on your dinner partner. Believe me, you’ll survive.

cell-phones-in-restaurant

Sadly, is this you?

Put the Phone Away and Make Human Connections

Think of the other person at the table as your invited guest–no matter who did the inviting. It is your job to be both a good host and a good guest throughout the meal. That means engaging both your conversational and listening skills.

Your life will not stop if you put away the phone for an hour or so. In fact, it will be enhanced by the interesting conversation and relationship building you will be engaging in. This world is all about human connections; not electronic ones.

Statistics show that people are lonelier now than ever, with a big part of that loneliness being attributed to social media. We’re not making real connections or building friendships that can last a lifetime.

on-phone-on-date

How would you like to be this girl?

When you’re eating out in a restaurant, or with a group at your own table, note how many people are staring at their phones instead of interacting with those around them. It’s sad. It also makes it more difficult for the service staff to attend to you.

What’s even sadder is when you’re on a date and your partner is more interested in his or her phone than in you. Nothing is less impressive than a lack of concentration on what your date is saying.

True Friends are With You, Not on Social Media

When you think about all the people who are important in your life, think about how you built those connections in the first place. You probably had something in common that you shared. Perhaps you are family or co-workers, or perhaps you built a friendship based around a mutual interest through a club or project. These are the people who are going to be there when you need a true friend in your life. Not the thousands of “followers” and “friends” on your social media accounts.

Who is going to bring you food when you’re sick, or come over when you’ve been fired to comfort you. Who is going to hug you tight as you go through a miserable divorce or your dog dies?

True friends are also there to celebrate with you when things are going good! Online friends don’t throw you a surprise birthday party or wave goodbye as you depart for your honeymoon. True friends bring you flowers–and cake!

Pay attention to the humans in your life by giving them the gift of your undivided attention when you’re together. They deserve it. And so do you.

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