We all love our tech.

Yes, the iphones, ipads, blackberrys etc. However, let’s face it, this constant texting and checking of the emails at the dinner table and in restaurants is all a bit much.

CBS Money Watch reports it well: “It’s not polite to use a BlackBerry or iPhone at the table. Ever. It’s bad manners, because you are neglecting your dining partners. (I’d rather see people talk with their mouths full. At least then they’re engaged in the conversation.)

The corollary to that, however, is that it’s also impolite for the offended mealtime companions to give the BlackBerry addict a stern lecture. That just doubles the bad behavior.”


It now appears that in the US, there is a whole etiquette emerging on how to scold these serial offenders!

CBS continues: “That’s what I learned from Peter Post, director of the Emily Post Institute. I’d experienced two different cases of dinnertime thumbs-in-action, and I was looking for a way to express my annoyance without any breaches of etiquette. In one instance, a friend stopped by our house during a long road trip home. We grilled some steaks and fed him on our deck. At the table: my husband, our two kids, moi, my friend and his iPhone, which he couldn’t put down.

In that case, Post advises, I’m allowed to speak up, but I should take the soft approach. “Your goal is not to embarrass him or to cause a problem with your relationship; your goal is to be able to talk to him and have his attention on the table,” he says.”

Another trick they say is: making the device a topic of conversation. “Ask him, ‘Can you show me more about how that thing works? Do you ever run into situations where people get frustrated when you use it at the table?’” Questions like those are supposed to get my point across without the angry words I want to use: “Is that blasted thing more important than the dinner I just cooked for you?”

One last bit of advice from Post: If you have a friend who has a BlackBerry addiction, try to meet at restaurants that have no-device policies. That way you can say as you sit down, “This restaurant is serious about their no cell phone rules, so I’m going to turn mine off.” The friend, you hope, will follow suit.

All power to the people, I say.


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