If you have been feeling bothered about this trend, which I think is occurring all over the world, here is a nifty solution: the phone stack.
What is the phone stack? It is a simple habit that you can introduce to your friends the next time you agree to meet in person. Here’s how you do it.
As each person arrives at the table, he or she must agree to take out his or her phone and place it on the table. Place your phones on top of each to form a stack. A phone stack. The photo above illustrates the principle.
For sure, as you go on eating and talking with each other, you will hear noises from the phone stack. You’ll see flashing lights. The idea is to ignore everything that comes from that stack and instead focus on interacting with the people who are in front of you (or to your left or right) physically. Here’s the catch: the first person who reaches for his or her phone to check a message or take a call has to pay for the meal!
That ought to be a binding agreement, and it will certainly help the participants avoid the temptation to look at their phones. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances. Someone might be expecting an important phone call, or someone might keep calling back (perhaps an emergency). This is just a “game” which can help take away focus from the gadgets and place attention to what matters.
What do you think? Will you try the phone stack?