In today’s world, our generation has become increasingly dependent on our smart phones. During every free moment in our hectic lives (such as lunch), we are texting friends, checking emails, playing games, or checking our social networking page. It angers me how people get caught up in their smart phones and not pay attention to the other people around them. I find this to be rather rude and insulting.

Now, I most certainly am not an exception to the description above. Therefore, I propose that everyone (including myself) must turn off their cell phones during meals. In most circumstances, I find it very difficult to believe that an email or text message is so important that it can’t be read thirty minutes later. Enjoy the time that you spend with your family/friends/co-workers, etc., You took the time to coordinate your schedules to eat together, why would you chat with other people? Chatting with others through your smart phone eliminates the purpose of why are you eating with this person in the first place. Essentially, stop being self-centered and be courteous to others. This way, our generation and future generations can still have the capability to have face-to-face interactions. If you continue living through your smart phone rather than having face-to-face conversations, you won’t have anyone to eat lunch with in the near future.

10 responses »

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  2. scoutberger says:

    I think this is a great idea Kate! I will be the first to admit that I am far too attached to my smartphone and computer. I am so concerned about being disconnected from the social networking world that sometimes it prompt me to be unsocial in face to face settings. My parents have always been adamant about “phone rules” in the house. Under no circumstances am I to EVER use the phone at the dinner table. When guests are over I keep my phone in my room and far away from the scene downstairs. The problem is these rules don’t apply necessarily when it is just me and my family. My sister and I are often so engrossed in our smartphone world that we don’t communicate with each other and the rest of my family like we should. Furthermore, the “phone rules” don’t apply outside of my house. I remember one time my family took one of my friends out to dinner and in the middle of dinner she got a text and starting texting back. My parents were so appalled and I was so embarrassed but I realized that our generation doesn’t necessarily have the same “phone rules” as the previous generation or the rules of my family. I feel like if we used our phones 50% less than we currently do we would be more engaged in each other’s lives, more active, and be happier.

  3. Marc says:

    This is a pretty cool post. I remember a year or so ago, Stephen Colbert had an author on his show that wrote a book called “Alone Together” that dealt with this same topic. The theme kind of stuck with me because it seems like a lot of people have better relationships with their phones than actual people. I like your pitch because it’s such a small and simple change that could have a huge effect on society. Interpersonal relationships seem to be at an all time low, so changes like this could really be useful.

  4. Mike says:

    Kate, I like this post because I think it is relevant for our generation. I have heard from countless elders, including bosses, my parents, grandparents, and professors that kids our age “don’t know how to communicate”. Face-to-face communication and interpersonal relationships are crucial aspects of day to day life, including in the working world, romantic relationships, and daily activities and tasks. Communication is often the number one valued skill amongst employers. Being able to ask for what you want in an eloquent, yet direct way is essential for success. By constantly being able to take comfort and seek refuge behind the walls of the internet, our smart phones, and our social networking aliases, we lose the key skills that make face-to-face communication effective; these include eye contact, a firm handshake and confident speech. Practice makes perfect, and nowadays, we’re not getting too much of this “practice”.

  5. Lindsay S. says:

    I really like this proposal and think it is extremely relevant for all of us, and probably even for much of the world. It is crazy how much technology has taken over everyone’s lives, but I feel that part of enjoying life and being a human is having interactions with one another. I think people forget to live in the moment sometimes because they are so distracted by their smart phones and it is really sad. Although it is difficult, I think making a conscious effort to avoid this during mealtimes at least is a very reasonable goal and something that could really make a positive impact on all of our lives.

  6. Claire McCardell says:

    I totally agree! My parents have always been on my back about checking my phone at the table, and after having it happen to me, I realize how rude and insulting it is. People have become so caught up in social networking and texting that they’ve come to value it over real face-to-face interaction. Furthermore, I remember reading an article awhile ago about the importance of having nightly family dinners in which everyone sits down (shuts off their phones) and eats together–apparently children who eat meals regularly as a family perform better in school and are less likely to get into trouble.

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