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Old 03-05-2014, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Prince Georges County, MD (formerly Long Island, NY)
1,555 posts, read 2,250,899 times
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So I think most of us agree that using a cell phone while eating with others at a restaurant is rude. However, I wonder how many of us make a distinction between checking a phone and playing on a phone.

Usually when my friends and I eat out, we may occasionally check our phones if an email or text comes in, check in to the restaurant on Facebook, or any brief activity like that. Again, this is with my friends, and we're all okay with that. If I'm eating with people who dislike cell phones at the table completely, I'll keep it in my coat pocket. For argument's sake, I wish to talk about the first scenario I posted.

While I'm okay with brief, momentary cell phone checking, I was once out with some family members, and they actually opened up games on their phones and started playing-- totally eliminating any need to talk. It would even be one thing if other people were playing at the table to see who could get the high score or something, but these people sort of alienated themselves.

My question is: when you're casually eating out (we're not talking about formal dinners here), do you make a distinction between checking a phone versus actually going on the phone?

I'm a millennial, so I realize my vantage point might be a bit skewed.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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As long as people aren't talking on their phones at the tables for more than a few seconds, I don't care.

Talking is the thing that is really annoying.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:46 AM
 
576 posts, read 854,090 times
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That's a pet peeve. When in a restaurant at one point, we made a point to notice the following. There was a large party a few tables over, looked like an entire extended family had gone out to eat. Every one of the folks at the table, those that looked to be maybe younger than 25 or so, every single one of them (this was a party of about maybe 12 folks or so), every single one of the young-ish folks, had their head turned down and were either texting or playing a game or something, rather than engaging in conversation at the table.

My spouse remarked "if I was footing the bill for that, those phones would be confiscated until the family dinner is finished, and they would be talking and visiting with each other instead of engrossed in their phones".

I had to agree.

Or even more of a sad situation, or so we thought. Had gone to dinner at a restaurant and the entire time, the wife of the husband and wife, she gabbed on the phone the entire meal, and ate her meal between bites. Husband sat there eating, essentially alone, while wife gabbed away. No dialogue/conversation at all between the husband and wife.

What do you folks think about when you invite family over for a get-together, say Easter dinner, or Xmas dinner. Someone of that party, their cell phone rings, they go retrieve it, sit back down at the family table where the meal is being eaten, and that one particular person holds a conversation with the party on the cell phone, rather than joining in the family conversation. MO, it's distracting and off-putting for someone to do that.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: SoCal again
16,067 posts, read 12,846,428 times
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I have my phone on the table and only look at it if I want to show somebody some pics or if I get a call.

I am sitting on that table for 1-2 hours and no email or text is so important that I need to interrupt the meal/gathering.

If you are an important business person, that might be different.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:14 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
8,988 posts, read 14,677,040 times
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I would think that by playing a game, rather than talking to you, that they are saying, loud and clear, that they find you boring and uninteresting to be with - then I would seriously re-think the next invitation.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:01 PM
 
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If I'm expecting something important, like a call from the vet or doctor, I will leave my phone out but tell the others I'm sorry, but I'm expecting a call I can't miss. Other than that, it's put away with the ringer off unless we need to look something up or as oh-eve said are sharing pictures. I'm there to spend time with the person/people I'm with. I have plenty of other time to spend with my phone. Depending on the reason for getting together, I sometimes just leave it in the car.

That said, I do tend to take a peek to see if I have any messages waiting if my companion goes to the bathroom.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,056 posts, read 17,369,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnyl View Post
...

What do you folks think about when you invite family over for a get-together, say Easter dinner, or Xmas dinner. Someone of that party, their cell phone rings, they go retrieve it, sit back down at the family table where the meal is being eaten, and that one particular person holds a conversation with the party on the cell phone, rather than joining in the family conversation. MO, it's distracting and off-putting for someone to do that.
Doesn't happen in our family. On the rare occasion that a family member even has their phone turned on they may apologize, quickly get up and answer it away from the table and return 30 seconds later. Never, ever would they have a phone conversation at the table.

With my friends, mostly ages 50 to 65, our phones may be on at a restaurant, in case a spouse or child calls but any conversation is brief such as, "Honey, I'll be home at 6:30" or "Dear Daughter, I'm with friends. I'll call back later tonight."

I have never seen anyone, child, teen or adult play videogames while out to dinner or having dinner at a relatives home among my family or friends. If I saw that I would think that were raised by wolves------- but that would be insulting to most wolves.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:42 PM
 
576 posts, read 854,090 times
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We have a family member that does that. Invite them over for whatever family function, be that just a casual dinner, or be it a xmas dinner, Easter, T-giving, doesn't matter. The person's cell phone rings .. and they answer it, right there at the table, disrupting any conversation that was ongoing at the time.

It's one thing (though even that is kinda rude, but more acceptable anyway) to answer the phone and tell the party calling you that you are at so and so's for dinner, and you'll call them back. More acceptable. But this family members carries on a full-on conversation right there at the dinner table. And no this isn't someone whose occupation demands they be at the beckon call of their phone. These are social conversations. Nothing of earth-shattering importance.

It besides it being a major annoyance, it telegraphs to the people who have been kind enough to invite you, that they are less important. Very rude.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,588 posts, read 5,105,578 times
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No cell phone use at all during a meal at a table is allowed in my family. I don't care if you are checking a text or playing a game. It's all rude.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Philippines
122 posts, read 127,925 times
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Well, maybe you just need to tell them about the rule of no cellphones during dinner. I think what you're doing is appropriate, like when you're out with the people who don't like it when cellphones are out. I think it depends on the group of people you're with. If you're with your family and they're playing games, I think they're are trying not to talk with each other because of some issues or something. You might just go ahead and join them.
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