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Is It Ever OK to Text Message at the Table?

Having started a group called Cell Phone Rant, I'm fairly sure you know where I stand on cell phones at the dinner table: Emergency situations permitted only. However, being that text messaging is newer than cell phones and some people think it's less obtrusive to be "quietly" typing, I hate it.

Maybe it's because I'm old, but when my little sister whips out her phone and is click-click-clacking to someone else, I get irritated and offended — when you're with someone, be with them. I loved seeing an episode of Tori and Dean recently where one of Tori Spelling's BFFs calls her out for being "so rude" by texting while out at dinner.

But like I said, maybe this is a new thing that as a non-youth, I am just not a part of. I say, texting at the dinner table: Emergency situations only. What do you think?


Join The Conversation
foudini foudini 8 years
(Her own bf, not anything of mine.)
foudini foudini 8 years
Even after telling her I would go home since she clearly had other stuff on her mind and would NOT give her a ride home, she continued texting. Unbelievable. This is but a small bit of the rude behaviour she did to her friends. We are cool now but due to some other craziness related to bf problems I lost all respect for her (she did some f**ked up shit).
foudini foudini 8 years
Close friend who moved to another state came to visit. Us and another close friend went to a local bar for fun. She spent the entire time texting her at-the-time second bf (looong, awful story) whom she talked to, texted and IMed on the computer every day already. I repeatedly told her it was rude and offensive that she came here to see us yet was texting. She could barely careless or pretend to care with "Mm-hms" and "sorries" all the while still texting. The other close friend agreed but didn't want to play the bad guy to the visiting friend's face so she kept pretty quiet. Bottom line: there is NEVER a time it is okay unless it is an emergency. Which, if it were, why would you be texting anyway? Poor, poor manners.
mod16 mod16 8 years
it depends if it is important or not
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I do. It depends on the situation. If I am bored then I am really bad at showing it usually...
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 8 years
i actually wait until they build up before i check them and then i ask first if it's okay if i do. most people say go ahead. but i live in a different time zone than most of my family so my dinner time is their wind down get ready for bed time so i try to make sure that if my nieces are calling to tell me how their day went, or my mom or brothers need something, i want to make sure i talk to them. even if only through text. but again, i ask or excuse myself from the table. i think common courtesy goes a long way!
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
no but if you absolutely had to respond, just type it under the table, really quick and just one text not an hours worth of convo
millarci millarci 8 years
I wouldn't do it.
kia kia 8 years
I hate texting at the table during meals. It is rude.
ang1885 ang1885 8 years
If I need to send a text when we sit down I will then I'll put my phone on silent.
jadeangel25 jadeangel25 8 years
Nope, nope, nope. Do *not* pull out that cell phone and text when around me or other friends or family. It's so rude and I hate that it's becoming acceptable to text or talk on the phone while around other people - even worse that people make you out to be rude if you're offended by it!. I'm always telling my younger relatives (this makes me sound so old! I'm only 21, but still...) to imagine as if they were having dinner with someone and they interrupted the dinner to have a conversation with an entirely different, uninvited person at the table. That wouldn’t be polite - so why should this be?
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I hate when people text constantly at the table, it seems like they find you boring and would rather talk to other people. I have done it on occasion, but I would never make it a habit.
Sammi_784 Sammi_784 8 years
It's simply rude.
jessie jessie 8 years
eh..its rude..and i've done it...guess i won't get that award again...damn
jasmint jasmint 8 years
In general it is rude. I could justify using it if the issue at hand is very pressing or maybe if it is an extremely casual setting with a large group of familiar people, but I'd still feel the need to apologize and excuse myself under any of these circumstances.
mayara mayara 8 years
I think using cell phones at the table is rude. Now, I can see some situations in which it might be appropriate to be rude, but it is still rudeness.
supercharger5150 supercharger5150 8 years
I think it depends on who you're with and when AND who's texting you. When I go out with my BF I'll text my mom back because she's important but I wait till we're in the car to check email or text a friend back.
CarolBo CarolBo 8 years
I view placing text messaging above the person(s) in front of you is rude. The larger issue though is the texter’s concern for Self over the awareness of others and consideration of their needs – self-gratification over self-discipline. When this behavior becomes prevalent in society, laws ensue to fill the lack of self-restraint. The Hang Up Act – banning mobile phone calls during flights – is one example. It is approved by a committee in congress and is before The House of Representatives for a vote. Microsoft’s patent for a Device Manners Policy is another example. If approved and used by establishments, mobile phones will automatically be disabled when entering for example a restaurant or movie theatre. Ironically, the very freedom of self-expression is now slowly being diminished due to our lack of self-discipline.
HipMom HipMom 8 years
It's just rude. It's like implying your dining companinons are not interesting enough to keep you enetertained. If it's something you absolutely must answer, excuse yourself, go to the restroom and reply. But just ONCE, not all through dinner.
Taadie Taadie 8 years
Only if we are waiting for someone else to arrive and they arent picking up the phone. Otherwise I try not to even look at my phone when I am out with other people unless I need to know the time.
Lysa1237 Lysa1237 8 years
It's very rude, but I have to admit that I have done it before.
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 8 years
Rude Rude Rude.
komler komler 8 years
I don't think it is okay. The thing about text messages, unlike a phone call, is that most of them don't have to be answered straight away. It is perfectly possible to either wait until the dinner is done, or there is a break in the dinner if it is that formal and then answer all of them, or excuse yourself to go to the bathroom/coat room to do it if it is vitally important. I see texting at dinner as a sign that the person isn't really *there* so to speak, but is busy with a gazillion other things, and might want to be elsewhere. Clarify - if you've left your kid with a sitter, if you're expecting an important call or stuff like that- it's ok to check the phone discreetly, but I do think that the actual replying can wait until you're away from the table. Maybe I'm old-fashioned that way.
chippyshero2066 chippyshero2066 8 years
Depends on the situation. Cell phones should be used at the table in case of emergencies like if someone is sick or injured that need to contact you even if you are at a restaurant. As for texting at restaurant, I find that tacky especially if you are on a date with someone while texting to your friends. Geez people can wait til later to find out juicy details of someone's date.
grace_08 grace_08 8 years
Maybe it's because of my age, but I think it depends on who you're with and what kind of restaurant you're at. If I'm at a casual restaurant with good friends, I'll text at the table. However, if I'm at a nicer restaurant and/or with people other than my close friends, it's a no no.
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