Mobile use at the dinner table

When is it okay to ban the use of a mobile phone? In class? a lecture? In the bathroom? Well, at my boyfriends house it is banned at the dinner table (and this rule is very strict!

Are mobile phones and the internet creating a false sense of connection? Source 

Unlike in my own home, the use of a mobile phone isn’t really banned anywhere. yes, at the dinner table it can often be seen as rude, especially if the call or text message is not important, however it isn’t a strict rule.

In Jarrod’s home, there is a very enforced ‘Do not touch the phone AT ALL, even if it rings 43 times’ rule. (I exaggerate slightly) At first this took a little to get used to, especially if it was very loooooong winded 2 hour dinner, where there is literally no pause or leeway to check my phone. To be quite honest with you, at times it made me feel very anxious… Is this a form of social anxiety because I can’t rely on my phone to make a ‘real life’ conversation or help me feel ‘safe’?


Seeing my phone light up or vibrate from afar and not being able to check it or even just peak at who is trying to contact you is very un-settling. It’s sad really, just how consumed and obsessed we are with our small online world that fits in the palm of our hands. These rules and regulations in Jarrod’s home are enforced through guilt, superiority and control.

An article written by the Sydney Morning Herald outlines the use of mobile phones in public spaces, and how social ettiquite is being demolished as a result. Is the dinner table a public space? Or is it seen as more rude to use a phone in the dining room because it is a ‘private’ space, saved for times of family bonding and conversation partaking? The lines between public and private space are becoming very fine, as access to the outside/online world is brought into our living spaces.

The Business reporter revealed that the 5 top rudest places to use your mobile Phone are:

  1. At a restaurant
  2. At a family dinner
  3. In a meeting
  4. At the cinema (or other quiet places) – probably a library too.
  5. At a church or worship service. (look up #funeral on Instagram and Tumblr if you feel like getting reaaaaally angry at humans.)

The mobile phone in essence changes the way in which space is defined. If I we were ‘allowed’ to use our phones at the dinner table, would we really be at the dinner table? Which space would we truly be in? #foodforthough

Let me know what you think! Tweet me or comment on this post so I can see what you think about the use of mobile phones in public (or private) spaces.

Em x


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