I'd approach it from the other side, as if I was concerned he was bored or no longer enjoyed the show. "So, be honest with me here. Is it boring coming over to our house to watch Show? I've noticed that you spend the whole time on your phone. Are we bad hosts? Are you getting tired of Show? We can start doing something else at another time if you'd rather." I'm not suggesting you are boring but it'll get him to take a look at his actions without putting him on the defensive.
If he says "No, you guys are great!" then makes some excuse for why he's on the phone so much you can gently point out that you feel like he doesn't enjoy hanging out with you.
This is my favorite so far. I think these kinds of things can be really effective if one is able to say them in the right tone of concern, allowing for the possibility that they might answer in a way one wasn't expecting. If one comes off as snarky or defensive it kind of ruins it, though.
I think this is my favourite now too. Thank you all so much for your input!
I really do love the idea of just texting him to get his attention, but with him I can see that going kind of sideways. Like, "Why didn't you just say something?" - so, maybe that's is what I will do - say something. Gentle. And I might try for a bit of humour, that often goes over well... <clears throat and puts on Austin Powers suit> "Can I awsk you sumfing?"
(However, the next time I put a plate of food in front of him and he ignores it, I might try the texting method - "Waffles to Friend! Waffles to Friend! We are getting cold!" Could be funny!)
Just to clarify, we are pretty chill about stuff like this, at a moderate level. I do have a couple of other friends who do this, but they are somehow much more present when they need to be. So sure, text your mom to tell her when you will pick her up tomorrow. Or answer a question from a co-worker who is closing up shop. But he is seriously glued
to his phone for large, continuous amounts of time. And knowing that he is carrying on lengthy conversations with others not present while he is at my house, well, hurts my feelings a bit. Also, he knows exactly where our charging station is, and is very comfortable using it, when he needs it
Gah. We'll see how it goes. I have a pretty bendy spine when it comes to Friend. We've been through a lot together.
Thanks again all, you are awesome!
ps - Hobish, thank you! It is from a line from my favourite song. And it's kind of appropriate