Should you turn off your phone at dinner? | The Tylt
Should you turn off your phone at dinner?
It's been proven that using your phone while dining with others diminishes the overall experience, both in terms of the food you eat and the time you spend with others while eating it. Livestrong's Shannan Ross reported on one study by the University of British Columbia:
'When we use our phones while we are spending time with people we care about—apart from offending them—we enjoy the experience less than we would if we put our devices away,' said lead study author Ryan Dwyer, a Ph.D. student in the department of psychology.
Most people have the same phone-reaching habit, but by turning phones off when at the dinner table, you help keep that temptation at bay. Ross continues:
As [senior author Elizabeth Dunn, Ph.D.] told Time, 'People are more likely to use their phones when others around them are also using their phones, so that suggests there may be this sort of domino effect. By putting your own phone away, you might be creating a positive domino effect.'
By making a commitment to leave your phone behind when sharing a meal with others, you open up the door for genuine connection. Phones put up a screen (no pun intended) between families and friends, and it's time to impose some barriers between people and their devices. The dinner table is the perfect place to start.
Spending an entire meal glued to your phone is certainly poor manners and will likely negatively impact your relationships. But there are certain instances where taking your phone out during a meal is completely acceptable. As Shannon Doyne and Holly Ojalvo write for a New York Times blog:
But wait? What if a few clicks of the smartphone can answer a question, solve a dispute or elucidate that thoughtful point you were making? What if that PDA is not being used to escape a conversation but to enhance it?
Your phone can act as a tool, rather than a meaningless distraction. Plus, if you turned your phone off at dinner, how would you take pictures of all the amazing food you're about to eat?