Dinner Date With Your Phone

Dinner Date With Your Phone

It's not as fun as it sounds.

Technology is being used more and more these days by people of all ages. There is one con about technology that people don't normally talk about: using your phone at the dinner table. People need to stop pulling their phones out to look at Facebook, Twitter, etc. when they are having a meal with someone, otherwise they come across as being rude and unsociable. It's one thing to use your phone for emergencies, but it's another thing when you just want to post something Facebook or look at silly photos on Pinterest or Instagram.

Just so you'll know that this is not based on my personal feelings alone, I'm going to give you some statistics on people and their phones. Let's start with Jeremy Smith from ChurchMag. According to Smith, 29% of social media users are on social networking websites while eating or drinking at home, 32% of us text or socialize on a mobile device at meal time, and, specifically with the age range of 18-to-34-year-olds, Twitter, Facebook, and texting during mealtimes are a higher rate of 47%. Next is Mavis Butterfield from onehundreddollarsamonth.com who did a recent study and discovered that, on average, people check their phones 110 times per day. That's about once every 9.8 minutes. Finally, there's Bruce Feiler from The Learning Network who looked at a survey of restaurants for the 2011 Zagat guide to New York restaurants. There were 40,569 surveyors and 69 percent of them said that texting, checking e-mail or talking on the phone is rude and inappropriate in a restaurant. As you can see from all of these numbers, too many people are using their phones during a meal. That is not a good thing.

Now I'll tell you how having your phone out during a meal affects both you and your company. Using your phone can cause your company to feel as though you're not interested in them or what they have to say. Just laying your phone on the table could greatly offend them because it looks like you're just waiting for the conversation to be over so you can pick up your phone again.

According to Mark Prig from Daily Mail, there are two studies that showed how having your phone visible on the dinner table can cause your company to have negative feelings towards you. The studies were performed by psychologists at the University of Essex. They conducted the experiments having an idea that phones cause us to become less empathetic and understanding in face-to-face conversations because we're more focused on the wider social network. The first study involved 37 pairs of strangers who were forced to talk to each other for 10 minutes about an interesting event that happened in their lives. Half of them had phones on the table and the other half had notebooks on the table. When their conversations were over, they all answered questions regarding the person they met. The researchers found that the people with phones on the table did not enjoy the conversation as much as the people with the notebooks. They even stated that they were less likely to become friends with their partner if they interacted more often. The second study involved 34 pairs of different strangers where some talked about something dull while others talked about something meaningful. Once again, half of them had phones on the table and the other half had notebooks on the table. Those who had notebooks developed feelings of trust and closeness while those with the phones did not. The resetters wrote, "These results demonstrate that the presence of mobile phones can interfere with human relationships, an effect that is most clear when individuals are discussing personally meaningful topics." In other words, having your phone on the table while talking with someone not only insults that person but also causes you to have negative feelings towards that person.

Cindy Post Senning wrote a small article on The Emily Post Institute about having your phone on you at the dinner table. The article basically said that it's perfectly fine to have your phone out if you're eating alone, but if you have company, then it's better to put your phone away. If it's an emergency or you're waiting for a very important phone call, then leave your phone in a place nearby so you can quickly excuse yourself when you hear it ring. As Senning stated, "If you're having dinner with friends and family, be with them." You don't want to punch them away because you refuse to tear your nose away from the screen. Put the phone away and have a nice conversation with them. Then everyone will be happy and your relationship will grow much stronger.

It doesn't matter who you're eating with, it's good to always be completely present and engaged. Show your company that you're a nice and respectful person by putting your phone away. They will greatly appreciate it and you may even cause other people to put their phones away too. The time you spend with others is so important. That's why you need to cherish every minute you spend with someone because you never know what's going to happen in the future.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Break Up With Your Phone, Cause I'm Bored

Take a phone cleanse, please

It's A Beautiful Day To Ignore The Day

It's a Tuesday, late afternoon. The sun is glowing. The birds are certainly chirping and the breeze is a-blowin through the trees and the moss dangles in wisps throughout the branches. But where are you? Where am I? Where are we all? Probably inside, completely ignorant of the beauty that is happening outside our doors with or without our acknowledgment. And we're probably on our phones.

Txt Me Back

Does anyone else cringe with this new weekly report from our trusty iPhone that lets us know just how much time we averaged on our device that week? I do. Every time. And it was such an accomplishment to see that I went down 4 hours from the week before last week. Four hours!!! What even? That is whack that I could even go down that much, that there was even that much, to begin with. I think that we have forgotten how to sit in silence and think, to look around and take in the surroundings. We fill to gaps with apps on our phones instead. We fill the moments we wait for people to text us back with "scroll time" rather than "me time". Rather than look outside and sit in the shade and drink in the fresh air.

Safety Net

I think that our phones have become our safety nets, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If I ever feel uncomfortable walking alone to my car, I can whip out my phone and call my mom or my sister and feel a sense of security through being on a call. We use our phones in awkward situations. We use them to locate each other and to make sure everyone is safe. This is all so so so good! But I think we also are using them in circumstances where there is no problem, no emergency, no discomforting scenario. We are learning to be dependent on them. And though it's not all bad, I challenge you to take a walk outside next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling over the same Instagram feed for the 12th time that hour. Look at the trees and at the birds that fly by you.

Break up with your phone for a sec. You might be less bored.

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