So my uncle has always had this “no mobile phone on the dining table while eating” policy. Something that I’ve seen him implement about 20-25 years ago & he continues even now.
The 1st time I witnessed this habit of his was when we had gone out to dine. My sister got a message, pulled out her phone to check. In a flash of a second, from across the table my uncle grabbed her phone and kept it aside. She was furious, did not understand why he did that and he was upset that she was using her phone while dining… Thankfully I have always kept my phone aside when eating or when wandering about the home. The phone is usually on my desk or in the living room [ I am not one of those attached to the device and needs to be checking it frequently]…
During my recent visit to the US, uncle & aunt hosted a dinner on Christmas Eve where their friends along with their families and my cousin had come over. Dinner was underway when we were all chatting away, a million words a second and once when uncle came over to check if all was good, he actually took away the few phones that were on the table. It was just there, next to the plates and one of them belonged to my uncle’s good friend. She knew of this habit, but whined that he was being unreasonable. He very nonchalant replied “all phones are in the basket in the living room and if one needed to use it, can go there & do so” … It was amusing to see he was still sticking to his guns even though he was in his 60s and so were his friends..
While this may seem harsh, I actually love it… I mean, heck take a few minutes out when you are having breakfast or lunch or when sitting at the table with friends/family and ensure you give them your full attention. Even at home during meals, my phone is rarely with me, am not the kind who needs to be playing/watching something while eating. Meal times to me are sacred, it is when you get to chit chat with your companions or get a breather from whatever you were doing. I do like to also eat in silence [even when dining alone, or at a coffee shop, I can happily just sit back and enjoy a coffee/snack without having the phone on my hand or fidgeting with it]. I get that for some people, the phone is their companion or distraction device and they need to be doing something or the other and aren’t comfortable being ALONE with themselves.
Reminds me of this person who would call and talk to me while she ate [alone at her office cafeteria] cos she couldn’t eat alone. I suggested she read a book or watch something, but she said she needed company and felt awkward dining alone. I understand they are going through whatever they are, but when dining with someone/group, you can make the effort to connect and converse instead of being glued to the phone, right? I know of people who talk, but their eyes and hands are on their phones.. When you ask them a question/or talk to them, you will get a response but there is no eye contact, which I find a bit annoying! Their justification is that they are there, they are listening & responding… Oh well~~
Recently, when driving back home, we drove past Irani Cafe and saw a giantass poster with a long list of NO’s on it. One of the items was “No phones” among other things – No laptops, no