Seems like everyone's on a mealtime date these days?with their cell phone.
I was eating lunch last week at Whole Foods Noe Valley (San Francisco). A lovely sunny day brought many eaters outside. There were white stone tables in front of the store, but scarce and scanty meant strangers crammed around munching kale salad and hot bar. We made quite a community table.
Problem was, there was no community.
People came, people left, and all thru my salad bar selection, no one looked up with a hi, a smile, or just a nod. We were practically touching shoulders, but nobody acknowledged the person sitting next to them. Instead, a continuous solo dance played on that went something like this:
Fork to mouth, fork to table, chew, pick up cell phone, chew, swallow quickly, put down cell, pick up fork, put in mouth, fork down, chew, pick up cell?.and on and on and on.
The table kept rhythmic pace; it was chew on cue. Everyone in beat; strangely connected, silent and detached all at the same time. The dance became more interesting than the lunch, so I pretended to eat while discreetly counting the average seconds/chews between the bites of my tablemates.*
Life as a social science. Do you marvel at how technology has made it ok to sit super close to another human being, yet feel no need to acknowledge their presence?
But hey, this is Silicon Valley ? land of invention and efficiency. If you can't beat em' ? eat em', right? Forget phone to fork. It's a time sink, and you run the risk of bumping the person next to you and actually having to engage.
Ladies and gentlemen?.never put down your cell phone again!
Cell Phone Fork!
Welcome to the future.
Smarty Pants Guys in Mountain View ?now which one of you big boys is free ta' help me build the prototype?
*Average chews 7-10 per bite. Macrobiotics teaches 30 chews per bite so SLOW DOWN everybody and chew your food well. People will think you are smiling at them and they might just smile back.
photo credit: Tom Hafkenschiel