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Cell Phones and Restaurants Don't Mix . . . or Do They?

Cell Phones and Restaurants Don't Mix . . . or Do They?

A recent blog post by a San Francisco restaurant critic raised some lively debate over whether or not it's OK to put your cell phone on the table next to you at a restaurant. Many find the practice rude, or at the very least, obtrusive when servers are unable to place plates on the table because of too many gadgets. And while most Yum readers called the practice a "don't," I'm curious what you think. Is there ever an appropriate time to leave your phone on the table when dining out? I think if you're at a restaurant to enjoying a meal with someone else, gadgets should stay off the table, but a bar or other social situation might call for different etiquette. Even better, how about adding coat-check style charging stations at restaurants to eliminate the problem all together? That's an idea I could get behind!

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antishay antishay 7 years
For me, it really depends. **I will keep my phone on the table if... ... I'm with a group of other tech-geeks who will have theirs out ... I'm in very casual company or large groups ... I don't think anyone would really care ... the place is loud enough or the group is loud enough that I might be texting someone across the table ... the situation calls for regular tweeting/facebooking **I will keep my phone in my purse if... ... I'm in a business or formal setting ... I'm on a date with someone whose preference I don't know ... I'm at an upscale place where it seems inappropriate ... I'm with people more than a generation older than me Pretty strange rules, I guess, but they all form a pattern :P If I'm in the comfortable, company of peers, my phone is almost always out. Otherwise, I judge the situation based on the company, setting, and formality of the meal. Great discussion topic!
JessieSP JessieSP 7 years
Your phone should be out of the waiters way, that's rude to keep unneeded things on the table that don't need to be there. Then when something spills on it the customer complains and wants it repaired or a new gadget. Lay your phone/gadgets inside of your bag, on the top of your other items, like on top of your wallet, or place it in your upper shirt pocket. I say keep your gadgets out of the way and don't talk on them, loudly, while sitting there. Other people don't want to hear your loud conversation while they're trying to eat and enjoy their company peacefully. Don't be rude.
jessy777 jessy777 7 years
I keep my phone on the table only if I do not have pocket. I hate to keep it in my bag because you can never find it when it rings in order to silence it. There is nothing I hate more than listening to phone ring while someone searches their back to silence it. That is far ruder than placing a small gadget on the table.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 7 years
I don't think it is inappropriate to have you celly out while dining but I think to continuously use/play on it while enjoying someones company is rude.
yu1 yu1 7 years
If I'm out with friends and we're just hanging out, sure I place it on the table. Never at a formal dinner or lunch that calls for a certain amount of respect. I do think it is slightly obnoxious! I'm always with my phones so if I'm at an impromptu lunch/dinner I can't help but have them by my side or slide them under my wrists.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
No no no NO! Honestly, it is sooo incredibly rude and annoying, even if it is a "casual" place or environment. If you are so attached to your phone, please, stay at home and explore the wonders of all your apps. >(
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
I love cell phones and am rarely without mine, but I never take it out (and keep it silenced) during meals, in theaters, or while driving. While cell phones are a convenience, they have also made us a very rude society. Nothing makes me madder than some one's cell phone ringing in the middle of a movie.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I only do it if I'm at an informal dining place (fast food, something on campus, etc) and if I'm expecting a call or text. Normally I'd keep my phone in my pocket, but I'm pretty sure my phone has unofficially been ruled "worst phone on the market" (AT&T Quickfire) and doesn't vibrate for texts anymore so I have no way of knowing if I have a text or not if it's not on loud or right next to me.
FreakingMuse FreakingMuse 7 years
Why not just leave it in the bag? Most women carry one so it should hardly be a proplem. You can hear/feel the phone if someones tries to contact you and it is not as rude as having it lying next to you, silently telling the other person "I want to be prepared in case someone more interesting than you tries to contact me". Actually, I don't care because my phone is always in my bag but I can understand people who are pissed when phones are lying on the table.
LilGlamDiva LilGlamDiva 7 years
I think it depends a lot on the situation. Like if I'm with people who I'm really close with who don't care, I don't worry about it so much, but it's like any other kind of etiquette, I wouldn't do it on a date, or with people who wouldn't approve (different generations, etc) Also, I always make sure everything is out of the way when the food comes. If I were a server that would drive me nuts. so rude too...
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