Meta intro: One of the reasons I’m working in this short format lately is that I find I simply don’t have the energy to spell out any sort of long discussion. Not long ago, my thoughts on this matter might well have turned into 2000 words of journal entry. Now, I might want to HAVE the discussion, but I no longer want to WRITE about it.
So, here you go, and you can read both of these and write/have your own discussion.
I Will Check My Phone At Dinner and You Will Deal With It:
Is part of it antisocial? Sure. Can it lead to distractions if you read a work-related email that you need to respond to? Of course. But this is the way the world works now. We’re always connected and always on call. And some of us prefer it that way.
What’s annoying to me isn’t someone using their phone at the table, it’s the people who really believe I shouldn’t be allowed to use my phone. Why? So I can repress the desire I have to check the phone while failing to engage in a conversation so I can be able to quickly excuse myself to go to the bathroom to check the phone?
Look At Me When I’m Talking To You:
I understand the desire to check your email, stocks, Facebook wall, OKCupid or Grindr message in those moments when you simply have to walk or sit on a train or scarf some lunchtime Chipotle. But when you are actually among people you know, the act of glancing down at your mobile device is simply bad manners. It states absolutely that your current interaction is not as important or as interesting as any number of online connections. It’s rude. And it misses the point.
My personal reaction is that while the author of the first piece makes some good points, he is basically an asshole, who is rude to his mother and who shows signs of compulsive phone/gadget behavior (really, you are so unable to go ten minutes without consulting your toy that you have to do it under the table)?
Meanwhile, Sullivan makes most of the same good points, but is far more sane about it.
You may choose to disagree. The discussion is now yours to have. I pass it to you.