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Facebook Home Dinner Ad

Facebook at the Dinner Table: Thumbs Up or Down?

It's no secret that smartphone addiction is spreading like wildfire in the digital age. These days, phone use is rampant and considered socially unacceptable in few places. Movie theaters are vigilant about keeping devices tucked away, and checking phones behind the wheel is now a major faux pas — as well as downright dangerous.

But what about the dinner table? A new ad for Facebook Home titled "Dinner" is riling up the Internet for seemingly encouraging phone use during family dinner.

In the ad, a bored young girl looks down at her phone, scrolls through Facebook Home's full-screen Cover Feed, and is suddenly transported to more exciting activities à la her friends' statuses. With a single glance, her attentions are completely taken away from dinner table conversation. It's basically your mom's worst nightmare.

But the "Dinner" ad speaks to a certain truth: when people take their smartphones to the dinner table, this is exactly what they imagine — a distraction from reality. Facebook Home replaces your phone's home screen with an endless stream of status updates from friends. The ad shows exactly how Facebook's social media/mobile integration will tempt you to check your phone and see what your network is up to.

Do you ban smartphones at the dinner table to eliminate social media temptation entirely? Or are devices so ubiquitous in our lives that it doesn't matter?

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