Distraction Free Dining

by | Nov 15, 2018

Photo: Kacper Zaremba

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CBS News recently filed this report about restaurant owners in New York offering their patrons an updated way to still the din of phones in their establishments. Modeled after the Phone Stack game, where diners stack their phones on the table, this version offers incentives like discounts on your meal to refrain from using your phone while dining. The intent is to bring people who’ve made the decision to sit face-to-face for a meal, to actually talk with each other, face-to-face, while enjoying their meal.

The team at Funk’dup Films created a video about the phone stack game with the focus on how not to be a d*ck when being out with friends. The point is to put the phones down and enjoy each other’s company.

As part of our mission at WebSafe Academy, we encourage parents to model behavior we want our kids to follow. Making mealtime a device free time to allow us to share our world with those closest to us, our family, is something that many psychiatrists suggest. We recommend small yet powerful changes like this to get us off our devices and back into the real world.

While the being with those around us at the dinner table should be a key reason for putting our phones aside, there’s a secondary and just as important benefit that’s not communicated in these videos– that being the consideration of those around us. The shrill of the tinny speakers our devices play is the new second hand smoke. While it wont kill us as second hand smoke can, it is non-the-less disruptive to those seated nearby. They didn’t come to listen to that cat video so proudly being shared, or a new song you just can’t wait for your dining partner to hear. No, they came to enjoy a quiet meal with those they brought with them. Teaching our children phone etiquette must include the fundamental rule of treating others as we wish to be treated.

Don’t allow your dinner to become hijacked by devices like this table has…

Thanksgiving is coming. Encourage your family to put the phones down. Keep your dinner table device free and be considerate of those around you. Allow them to enjoy their dinner as well.

If you’d like to help your kids become better digital citizens, or find that you need tools on how to model, mentor, and manage devices in your home, we offer talks for schools, clubs, businesses, and organizations which cover these very topics. Talk with us today!

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