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Author Topic: phones at the table during dinner  (Read 13293 times)

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MariaE

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2016, 11:52:37 PM »
If you were at a restaurant, I'd suggest playing 'phone roulette."  If you haven't heard of it, everyone at the table puts their phones face down in one general area or a pile.  First person to touch their phone pays the bill.

I had somebody suggest that to me once, and it really annoyed me (this was somebody I hadn't seen in ages, so assuming I couldn't leave the phone alone for the duration of a meal was both wrong and really presumptious). So no, I wouldn't suggest going that route.
 
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sammycat

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2016, 12:05:46 AM »
If you were at a restaurant, I'd suggest playing 'phone roulette."  If you haven't heard of it, everyone at the table puts their phones face down in one general area or a pile.  First person to touch their phone pays the bill.

I had somebody suggest that to me once, and it really annoyed me (this was somebody I hadn't seen in ages, so assuming I couldn't leave the phone alone for the duration of a meal was both wrong and really presumptious). So no, I wouldn't suggest going that route.

I wouldn't go that route either. I'd then spend the entire meal wondering if I should've ordered something cheaper, should I order dessert or not, just in case someone decided to follow through with it and decide, or be forced, to pay for everyone (including me).  Under usual circumstances I fully expect to pay for my own meal to the last cent, not have someone else pick up the bill. Besides, most places I go to have a pay-as-you-order at the counter set up, so it wouldn't be a feasible idea anyway.

As for Cousin, I agree with PP who say to just be direct about it, and act as though Cousin is a rational human being who will of course comply with such a reasonable and polite request.

MommyPenguin

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2016, 07:02:22 AM »
If you were at a restaurant, I'd suggest playing 'phone roulette."  If you haven't heard of it, everyone at the table puts their phones face down in one general area or a pile.  First person to touch their phone pays the bill.

I had somebody suggest that to me once, and it really annoyed me (this was somebody I hadn't seen in ages, so assuming I couldn't leave the phone alone for the duration of a meal was both wrong and really presumptious). So no, I wouldn't suggest going that route.

Some Chick-fil-As are issuing a phone challenge where you put your phone in a box in the middle of the table during the meal.  If you make it the whole meal without taking it out, they'll give you a free ice cream cone.
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daen

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2016, 07:04:42 AM »

<snip>

As for Cousin, I agree with PP who say to just be direct about it, and act as though Cousin is a rational human being who will of course comply with such a reasonable and polite request.

I've had good results with that in a work situation. If my starting attitude is "This is a perfectly reasonable and polite requirement," the response is much more positive than if I start in apologetic mode.  It works in reverse, too - if there's something not right that I need to address, I start with the assumption that the person is rational, reasonable, and polite. The response is then usually "oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize - let me fix that."

Mustard

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2016, 12:57:28 PM »
We were once at a Christmas 'do' where the young woman opposite us had put two phones down on the table.  My husband asked why she had two phones.  She looked at him pityingly and said well of course she couldn't bring all of them could she?  Turns out she had four mobiles because each had a different tariff  so she was getting the best use of her money.

DanaJ

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2016, 02:12:31 PM »
If you were at a restaurant, I'd suggest playing 'phone roulette."  If you haven't heard of it, everyone at the table puts their phones face down in one general area or a pile.  First person to touch their phone pays the bill.

I had somebody suggest that to me once, and it really annoyed me (this was somebody I hadn't seen in ages, so assuming I couldn't leave the phone alone for the duration of a meal was both wrong and really presumptious). So no, I wouldn't suggest going that route.

POD. That would rub me the wrong way too, and I don't even have a phone (actually, I guess the game would work out quite well for me). In any case, the "phone roulette" game assumes you are all like ill-mannered children to begin with and that's never a good way to start a social event.

crazycatlady331

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2016, 07:16:30 PM »
The only person I've done the phone roulette thing with IMO needed it.  When I'd go to a restaurant with her, the iPhone was more important than anyone she was having dinner with (it wasn't things like sending a work email or checking in on an elderly relative, it was social media and Candy Crush).  It got to the point where I wondered why I was even bothering to waste my time and money to have a restaurant meal with someone who didn't pay attention to me (this was a 1 on 1 meal, not a group setting).

And then when the food came, nobody could eat until the food was photographed and put on social media.  Sometimes it was getting cold for that reason. 

I've since given this person the cut direct and this is one of the 10,000 reasons.

Allyson

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2016, 12:11:51 AM »
I think phone roulette is fine if everybody involved uses their phones a lot and has expressed a desire to do it less. But if it's being suggested by somebody who doesn't use their phone a lot, to somebody who does, it just seems passive aggressive.

MrTango

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2016, 07:46:47 AM »
I think phone roulette is fine if everybody involved uses their phones a lot and has expressed a desire to do it less. But if it's being suggested by somebody who doesn't use their phone a lot, to somebody who does, it just seems passive aggressive.

This.

The way I see it, if it's not rude for my wife to pull out her knitting during a conversation, then it's not rude for me to pull out my phone and play a round of 2048 or Mancala while holding a conversation.

Teenyweeny

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2016, 08:28:35 AM »
I think phone roulette is fine if everybody involved uses their phones a lot and has expressed a desire to do it less. But if it's being suggested by somebody who doesn't use their phone a lot, to somebody who does, it just seems passive aggressive.

This.

The way I see it, if it's not rude for my wife to pull out her knitting during a conversation, then it's not rude for me to pull out my phone and play a round of 2048 or Mancala while holding a conversation.

I like 2048, but there's no way I'd not find it off-putting if someone was playing that while talking to me. You have to look at your screen to play. I suppose if you were taking a long time between turns, that's ok, but only for the most casual of settings.

FWIW, I feel the same about knitting, unless it's very plain and the person can do it while talking, without looking down. (And even then, we'd better be in a v casual situation.)

Busying yourself with another activity during social time is just rude (unless that activity is the focus of the gathering). How can it send any other message than "I don't want to give you my full attention"?  If the people in question live together (or there's an extended house visit going on), then drifting in and out of conversation while doing your own activity is a perfectly normal thing to do in a shared space. Otherwise, it's just disrespectful.



knitwicca

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2016, 09:10:03 AM »

I like 2048, but there's no way I'd not find it off-putting if someone was playing that while talking to me. You have to look at your screen to play. I suppose if you were taking a long time between turns, that's ok, but only for the most casual of settings.

FWIW, I feel the same about knitting, unless it's very plain and the person can do it while talking, without looking down. (And even then, we'd better be in a v casual situation.)

Busying yourself with another activity during social time is just rude (unless that activity is the focus of the gathering). How can it send any other message than "I don't want to give you my full attention"?  If the people in question live together (or there's an extended house visit going on), then drifting in and out of conversation while doing your own activity is a perfectly normal thing to do in a shared space. Otherwise, it's just disrespectful.

I admit I knit constantly when I am not at work...including movie theaters. I also can knit simple patterns without looking at the work. I look the person I am with in the eye.
It never occurred to me that some people might find that rude.  It is simply a way to keep my hands busy while I give attention to the other person. 

About the cell phones at the dinner table...I dated a guy for nearly 2 years who could not eat a meal unless he had his phone out and was reading the news, looking at aircraft videos, etc.  He was absolutely non-communicative during meals (except via his cell).  Unless we were having dinner with his friends.  I felt dismissed and have no idea why I put up with it for so long.

The guy I am seeing now took me out to dinner one evening and the previous bf was sitting at the bar with a lady. Ex-bf had his phone propped against the edge of his plate (I had to look!) while responding to his date with the same half-attention he had always given me during meals.  For the record, we are not teens or twenty-somethings but past 50 years old.

Aquamarine

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2016, 09:34:44 AM »
What about,
"Cousin, would you please put your phone away during dinner?  We'd really like to talk to you!"

To me that means "we'd really like to talk to you about something this one time", it doesn't address the fact that the host does not want phones at the dinner table ever again.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Chez Miriam

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2016, 09:50:51 AM »
If you were at a restaurant, I'd suggest playing 'phone roulette."  If you haven't heard of it, everyone at the table puts their phones face down in one general area or a pile.  First person to touch their phone pays the bill.

I had somebody suggest that to me once, and it really annoyed me (this was somebody I hadn't seen in ages, so assuming I couldn't leave the phone alone for the duration of a meal was both wrong and really presumptious). So no, I wouldn't suggest going that route.

I would never do that.  I paid too much for that phone to risk the chance of forgetting it, or worse, having something spilled on it!  So no, my phone will be safely buried in my purse.  I'm honestly not important enough to have the phone permanently attached to my hand anyway.

Not commenting on your importance, LadyJaneinMD, but anyone seriously important will not have a phone permanently attached to their hand, either.  I'm sure if Mr Obama, or HH the Dalai Lama* needs contacting urgently, one of their aides will tap them on the shoulder!  ;)

Shortly after dinosaurs died out, I went on a BT [previously the monopoly telephone provider in the UK] switchboard programming course and one of the instructors told how he'd deflected a BigCheese demanding the phone with the most buttons [he was the most important person; he should have the biggest phone]... 

He pointed out that the girl who answered the switchboard had a huge phone with masses of buttons, group secretaries had big phones with lots of buttons, PAs had small phones with a few extra buttons [compared to a home phone], and really seriously important people have a phone with no buttons [they just pick it up, and the person the other end does the tedious stuff like dialling, asking for MrX, waiting to connect, fobbing off unwanted callers, etc.].

It worked for me - I pointed out the more bosses you had, the more buttons you needed to poor PAs of demanding bosses - but I should have bought in a stock of no-button phones!  ;)


* Or the world's [possibly/currently] most famous 90-year-old lady.
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

Teenyweeny

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2016, 10:16:23 AM »

I like 2048, but there's no way I'd not find it off-putting if someone was playing that while talking to me. You have to look at your screen to play. I suppose if you were taking a long time between turns, that's ok, but only for the most casual of settings.

FWIW, I feel the same about knitting, unless it's very plain and the person can do it while talking, without looking down. (And even then, we'd better be in a v casual situation.)

Busying yourself with another activity during social time is just rude (unless that activity is the focus of the gathering). How can it send any other message than "I don't want to give you my full attention"?  If the people in question live together (or there's an extended house visit going on), then drifting in and out of conversation while doing your own activity is a perfectly normal thing to do in a shared space. Otherwise, it's just disrespectful.

I admit I knit constantly when I am not at work...including movie theaters. I also can knit simple patterns without looking at the work. I look the person I am with in the eye.
It never occurred to me that some people might find that rude.  It is simply a way to keep my hands busy while I give attention to the other person. 

I admit I know v little about knitting, but aren't you counting stitches? Or something? If it is literally just a movement of your hands, then OK (although i still think there's a time and a place, I'd be annoyed if I was trying to watch a film and the person next to me was going clickclickclick, and it's not appropriate for more formal settings), but I assume you have to devote at least some brain space to keeping track of where you are and that just feels off to me.

Yes, I know I could be talking to someone and they're secretly planning their wedding in their head, but I don't KNOW that, you know? Whereas someone knitting is literally waving a flag that that says "I'm also thinking about something else!"



menley

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Re: phones at the table during dinner
« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2016, 10:53:52 AM »
Yes, I find the clacking of knitting needles to be quite distracting and I'd have a hard time having a conversation with people who were knitting while talking to me. I'd probably trail off several times while trying to regain my train of thought, and if it happened repeatedly, id just stop meeting up with the person. If one has to do something else to keep from being bored in my company, I'd rather spend time with people who do not feel that way.