Call me old-fashioned and a tad bit cranky but I feel that people who thumb their i-phones, and even i-pads during their dinner are starved for attention, perhaps lack tact, or are even rude.
Recently my wife and I were in a fine dining establishment near home and three diners came in with electronic paraphernalia, and one even looked under his table for a plug so he could recharge! This while the server waited patiently for a break in the thumb searching.
Must be something to needing to be in touch all the time that I fail to understand, or a sign of the essential me-ness of modern life.
Am I alone on this?
Once upon a time people spoke to each other face to face. In grad school we used the card catalog to do our secondary source research, we wrote letters and the phone (one and only per house often with a party line) was answered at times other than dinner.
Perhaps restaurants could establish an electronics-free zone?
It is quite rude that people have to use their cell phones, IPads, et al when in a restaurant. I still follow the old fashioned way and won't even have my cell phone on while in a restaurant.
Going back to the days of the 'non-smoking' question when being seated, I, for one, hope restaurants don't go the route of establishing an electronic free area. To me, that means ignorance has won. Let them just put up a sign, if they dare, to shut off the phone for the pleasure of all to be able to enjoy their dining experience phone, ring, and text free.
I haven't thought about using my iPad in a restaurant, other than an airport bar, but if you're buying supper, I'll turn the phone off and be a part of whatever conversation you want to have. I don't see the big deal as long as I'm not being disturbed, and the mere fact that someone is surfing the web or checking email doesn't really bother me.
I agree NUHusker, no harm.no foul.
But as a chief of surgery, good friend and former colleague recently told me, he has resorted to asking that all his MDs keep their hands on the table while he's conducting a staff meeting so that he can be sure they are not texting while the meeting is going on at the hospital! I would like my doctor's full attention when he's seeing me.
The importance of being in touch sometimes overhwelms the need to be human, I think, but then I am old and not wired up at all times.
And if I were talking with my Dr I'd agree. But since I probably don't know the people at the next table, I don't care what they do as long as I'm not disturbed by it, and playing around with a blackberry or iPad doesn't seem all that outrageous.
I also agree that life was much simpler when we wrote letters. My mother still has, and treasures, some that I wrote from overseas over 40 years ago.
Well... I'm one of those people who you see enjoying my dinner while thumbing through my Blackberry in a restaurant. Fact is, I'm traveling for work and eating alone. Believe me, I'd rather peolpe watch. But I know that people don't like to be watched, especially when they are eating. So rather than bothering people by watching them, I keep up with the happenings of the world or trade a few shared on my trusty old Crackberry.