Author Topic: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?  (Read 3268 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2013, 02:26:33 PM »
There's always people watching and making up outlandish tales in your head about the people. :) I've done that in the past and it can be a great deal of fun to let one's mind wander.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Library Dragon

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2013, 06:22:32 PM »
OP Your instincts are corect.

I wish we could separate couples at these types of events so that we increased our conversational opportunities.  It's a social gathering not a date.  I do know that there are people who have a melt down if this happened  ;) .

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Ceallach

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2013, 06:28:42 PM »
OP Your instincts are corect.

I wish we could separate couples at these types of events so that we increased our conversational opportunities.  It's a social gathering not a date.  I do know that there are people who have a melt down if this happened  ;) .

It's sad isn't it, we've gone from it being completely wrong for couples to sit together, to being the expected norm.  Most people would consider it rude to deliberately separate a couple these days. 

Perhaps it's because we have less time to socialise with our own partners now anyway?   So a night out is a night out together!   Interesting though.   
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Aquamarine

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2013, 07:02:45 PM »
Unless someone is calling to tell you that you have been given a transplant organ, are on call for a job, or the babysitter is calling then I think it's incredibly rude to use the phone at the dinner table.  In the case of the job call, organ being ready, or the babysitter calling then I think a quick "this is an emergency, I really have to take this one guys" is OK, but after saying this you then excuse yourself and leave the table!

I would probably alert my companions if they were good friends that I was on call for the night or that maybe it would be my lucky night and the transplant might happen.  A nice preemptive way of letting people know I do not intentionally plan on being a an ill-bred person when I answer my phone.

The phone really needs to be off and tucked away in a purse if this is at all possible, this is what I do.  When I am out with friends, I am out with my friends, NOT my friends and my phone.  Luckily my friends feel the same way unless there is some big deal they had to stay in contact about. 

People understand that things come up and emergencies happen, but many do not understand why at dinner out you need to gabber on the phone about work gossip or other trivia.
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Possum

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2013, 07:14:59 PM »
Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy, but I feel using a phone at the table to kill time, or check on facebook, or basically anything other than time-pressed issues regarding family or work, is rude.  No matter how bored you are.  In fact, if you pull it out to fiddle with it because you're bored, you might as well stand up and announce it in my book.

ebelie

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2013, 07:54:59 PM »
The other issue with using your phone is that you may cut yourself off from future conversation possibilities.  If I saw someone playing with their phone at a dinner I'd assume they really didn't want to talk to anyone and wouldn't bother approaching them.

With these types of dinners - networking opportunities for my husband rather than anything to do with me - I generally expect that I may be stuck with no one to talk to for a while so I'm mentally prepared to stick it out in advance. I'm glad things improved and you had a good time!     

TootsNYC

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2013, 08:52:52 PM »
The other issue with using your phone is that you may cut yourself off from future conversation possibilities.  If I saw someone playing with their phone at a dinner I'd assume they really didn't want to talk to anyone and wouldn't bother approaching them.

I had this thought too!

Ceallach

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2013, 09:19:28 PM »
The other issue with using your phone is that you may cut yourself off from future conversation possibilities.  If I saw someone playing with their phone at a dinner I'd assume they really didn't want to talk to anyone and wouldn't bother approaching them.

I had this thought too!

Or the Big Boss walks up right when I'm doing it, and from then onwards thinks of DH as the guy whose wife is a rude boor and didn't enjoy the fancy party he threw us!   ;D
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2013, 09:53:52 PM »
The other issue with using your phone is that you may cut yourself off from future conversation possibilities.  If I saw someone playing with their phone at a dinner I'd assume they really didn't want to talk to anyone and wouldn't bother approaching them.

I had this thought too!

Except in this case, everyone was seated, so there was no chance of anyone walking up to approach the OP.

OP, you were really in a tough situation here. I admire your ability to ignore the temptation to get your phone out. I'm not sure whether I'd have been that strong.  :-[ 

I do think your DH was inadvertantly rude by not trying harder to include you in the conversation. And the girl on the other side was definitely rude for rebuffing your attempts at conversation.

camlan

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2013, 10:31:53 AM »

Except in this case, everyone was seated, so there was no chance of anyone walking up to approach the OP.

OP, you were really in a tough situation here. I admire your ability to ignore the temptation to get your phone out. I'm not sure whether I'd have been that strong.  :-[ 

I do think your DH was inadvertantly rude by not trying harder to include you in the conversation. And the girl on the other side was definitely rude for rebuffing your attempts at conversation.
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I've been to company dinners where the owners/president of the company used the time when everyone was sitting down to go table to table, talking to each person. It didn't happen at this dinner, but it's a distinct possibility at many functions.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


JeanFromBNA

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2013, 04:11:11 PM »
Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy, but I feel using a phone at the table to kill time, or check on facebook, or basically anything other than time-pressed issues regarding family or work, is rude.  No matter how bored you are.  In fact, if you pull it out to fiddle with it because you're bored, you might as well stand up and announce it in my book.
Agreed.

Venus193

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2013, 04:27:09 PM »
I find that any electronic devices at any meal, be it formal or friends at a fast food place are rude, but maybe that's just me.  I know it must have been excruciatingly boring, but your dinner companions (and your DH) IMO were rude to ignore you and just socialize with each other, but to bring out your phone would have added to it.

I completely agree.  I also feel it is rude in family situations.  On Thanksgiving Day at Brunhilde's there was a half hour during which her sister played Tetris on a handheld device, Brunhilde did Facebook on another, her son was on his laptop, and Siegfriend laid down on the bed to read.  I was very tempted to leave at that moment.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2013, 07:34:14 PM »
I find that any electronic devices at any meal, be it formal or friends at a fast food place are rude, but maybe that's just me.  I know it must have been excruciatingly boring, but your dinner companions (and your DH) IMO were rude to ignore you and just socialize with each other, but to bring out your phone would have added to it.

I completely agree.  I also feel it is rude in family situations.  On Thanksgiving Day at Brunhilde's there was a half hour during which her sister played Tetris on a handheld device, Brunhilde did Facebook on another, her son was on his laptop, and Siegfriend laid down on the bed to read.  I was very tempted to leave at that moment.

How long was the gathering? I think there's a huge difference between a few hour party or dinner (especially with professional colleagues) versus an all-day family holiday gathering.

IME, Thanksgiving with family is often an all-day (or most-of-the-day) affair. Would you expect everyone to socialize the entire time at such an event? A half-hour of "downtime" with people relaxing/recharging on their own, whether that's reading, napping, watching TV, or playing with their electronics, sounds completely normal to me. The idea of having to be constantly "on" for a full-day family holiday sounds exhausting.

Venus193

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2013, 08:02:13 PM »
It was about five hours with the meal consumed just before the 2-hour mark.  Two other guests came and went during.

Clockwork Banana

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Re: Using phones at the dinner table - is it ever ok?
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2013, 08:22:46 PM »
I disagree that Ceallach's spouse was in any way rude.  It seems from her description that he did his best to include and not marginalize her.  There is only so much one can do given that type of set up - where you are trying to be polite and engage with a person on one side of yourself but still try to include the person on the other side.  It can be a difficult balancing act.

I am another one who has extreme social anxiety, but I can mask it and muddle through when I have to.  I don't know how many times I have been in that exact situation - sort of in between conversations and not a part of any particular one.  It can feel SO awkward.

Often all I want to do is grab my book and retire to a corner.  Obviously this would be just as antisocial as smart-phoning etc.  So I do my best to slap on a happy/contented look and try to engage my mind by writing stories in my head.  It is not ideal, but keeps me from running screaming from the room:-))))