Plastered all over the news this week was the “cell phone coop” that can be found in 150 Chick-fil-A restaurants. Diners can receive a free ice cream cone for parking their cell phone in the coop throughout their time at the restaurant. Bribery at its best!
In just a few short years, somehow our cell phones have become an extra body appendage. Our phones go everywhere with us. Which can be advantageous for managing the multi-tasking way of life today. But, the big question when it comes to dining is “can I bring the cell phone to the dinner table?” The short answer is NO, and a slightly longer answer is don’t lay your eyeglasses or purses on the dining table either.
Guidelines for cell phone use at the dinner table:
- Your cell phone is laden with germs. How often do you sanitize your cell phone cover? Probably not often. Just think about all those locations where you have laid your phone down. Hmmm, not a pleasant thought actually. Chances are now that you have thought about it, you most likely don’t want your cell phone next to meal you are about to consume.
- When you are a guest at someone’s home for dinner, they are actually interested in hearing what you have going on in your life and what you have to say about the state of the world. Text messaging during your time at the table is rude. Why? Think about the time, effort and expense your host has put forth to present a delicious dinner for the evening. When you are texting and talking on your cell phone at a dinner, you are sending the message to your hosts that they are less important than whatever is pulling your attention to the cell phone. If you must send a quick text, excuse yourself from the table and do your texting in private.
- If you have an important call or text that is time sensitive and must be attended to while you are at dinner, let your host or dining companions know in advance. Then tend to that call or text as discreetly and quickly as possible and put your phone away afterwards.
- It’s easy to get drawn in to the feeling that we can’t go a couple of hours without our lifeline – the cell phone. But, we can and we should. Be present with others. It’s just good manners.
- And lastly, why not create your own “cell phone coop” at home? (If you need inspiration, Pinterest is loaded with adorable real-life chicken coops. Just sayin’.) If you have little ones at home or an artist teenager, recruit them to create a “cell phone coop” for the family. They might even be more compliant if they have some ownership in the design/creation process!