Should Cell Phones be Banned in Restaurants – Yes

One-hour service dry cleaners, instant Polaroids, send your pictures over the phone to everyone instantly, instant pudding, instant family, fast food drive-throughs, instant everything…

I think our culture has forgotten simple etiquette and manners in the pursuit of instant-you-name-it! There is no longer any relaxation and unwind time – not even if you are out to the movies or out eating dinner at a posh place anymore. If you can’t be reached instantly, then either people think something is wrong or you are hard to communicate with. What’s so wrong with taking an hour or two to have a nice, quiet meal while enjoying the ambiance and luxury of a leisurely meal? What is so wrong with enjoying the people you are having a meal with? I think we all need to stop a moment and reassess why we have this innate need to always be on the go.

In Europe some places still stop and close for a little while in the afternoon for a siesta or down time…These people seem more healthy mentally, physically and spiritually. You don’t get this high energy stress feeling that without your cell phone the world is going to come to a complete halt and stop because you aren’t “On”. We don’t see these vast amounts of child or adult obesity in the European society or cultures compared to the USA; they still understand the art of rest and relaxation.

Don’t you think it might be time to take the cues from our cousins over the pond and take 10 to sit and relax with our friends and family? Whether it’s at home and you are having “family time”, or out at a restaurant? Why not enjoy friendship, family and the good ole’ art of eye contact and conversation? Why do we need to hear that electronic noise and a little louder than usual talk while out relaxing and enjoying? What is so wrong with good food, good drink and good conversation?

I say it’s high time we learned a little bit of manners from Miss Manners and turn “off” when in a public area. If you are waiting for that next “emergency”, keep it on vibrate and walk outside away from the restaurant eating area and take that call. But don’t insist your emergency takes precedence over my leisurely and relaxing meal that I’m enjoying over candlelight.

I refuse to always be turned “on”. I still remember the days of using pay phones for emergencies and the ability to have my own time to myself without getting these disdainful looks from my friends because I can’t be reached 24×7. Don’t you think it’s time to turn “off” and enjoy a quiet and relaxing meal?


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