In Briefs: Texting During Dinner

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: This rebuttal to the texting at the dinner table debate, entitled, “I will check my phone at dinner and you will deal with it” really only reaffirmed my anti-phones at dinner stance:   http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/21/phones-at-dinner/

HOWARD MEGDAL: This seems strange to me. He conflates two things: while engaged in a conversation, using technology to inform it, and checking one’s phone as an escape from that conversation. Very different in terms of social implications, no?

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Also, if you feel like you should be able to check your phone any time you goddamn well please, why not do it out in the open? If you have to hide it from your Mom, isn’t that kind of a weasily way of appearing to oben her wishes but not really honoring them?

Also also, who in their right mind expects to be seen sympathetically after describing how checking their phone during a dinner with their parents makes that dinner SOOO much more fun?

Also also also, I HATE that person who is always like, ‘oh, we’re in a group social setting wondering about some trivial fact? Let me confirm that fact right now by looking it up on my phone in the middle of our conversation!’ Like we’re all trapped in a burning barn and they’re f*cking Lassie coming to the rescue.

JESSICA BADER: I come from a whole family of “that person.” You should see us when my mom makes the mistake of making dinner reservations at the same time as a Mets game – it’s a competition to see whose phone can update us on the score first.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I’m married to “that person”, so I guess I don’t actually hate them…

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: I’m “that person” despite not having a smartphone. My family will ponder some easily-looked-up-fact, and I’ll point out, “you know, you can Google that.” They do not appreciate this for some reason…..

AKIE BERMISS: I think there are a few situations where the talking and texting is ok. like in some business settings. someone answers a call and you check your emails or something. or when its an agreed upon urgency to be on top of things. but i make two caveats to that:

a) if you can’t multi-task, don’t. i’ve now started letting people drop their sentences when they try to talk and check a message or text simultaneously and forget what they were talking about. i just change the subject to something I find interesting. sad to say, this happens ALOT in my personal relationships these days. i know *I* can read and send a text while saying something, and if i feel like i can’t i say, “hold on a second, i have take 10 seconds and finish this text.” and then make a point of picking up where I left off. i don’t appreciate when someone thinks they have it, starts a sentence, and then 10/15 seconds go by with nothing but them staring at a screen. i don’t think it makes a person stupid, but it certainly makes a person SEEM stupid.

b) you don’t need to constantly check your phone if you have the proper Push Updates set. so if you’re a business type or a musician or something and you need to know about new emails pronto in order to stay on top of current developments and get gigs, make sure you set the Push updates. i don’t care if it eats at the battery life. its just silly to think you’re MORE on top of things if you randomly always check an empty mailbox than if you just put the phone on buzz and check it when it buzzes or — indeed — don’t, but mentally be aware that you have a message waiting.

god, i really hope the hyper phone-loving, non-multi-tasking, too much time on facebook for no reason people don’t take over the world. but i’m feeling more and more depressed on that account.

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