Going out to eat used to mean enjoying quality time with friends and survey. This of course was before cell phones and social media touched every life in some way, shape, or form. Lately, if one were to go into any restaurant across the nation, they would see at least one diner who is obsessively checking or using their phone. Recently, critics and social analyst have condemned the obsessive use of cellphones and social media. Especially when the user is taking place in a public gathering where talking and laughing amongst friends and family should be taking place.
One woman went beyond critiquing people in their obsession to technology. Instead she created an app to challenge cell phone users to put the phone down and enjoy the company of the people that they love. The app is called Dinner Mode. It challenges users to keep away from their phone for 15, 30, or 60 minutes at a time. Sloane Davidson created the app when she realized how disconnected her family was at meal time gatherings. Sloane could remember a time where family gatherings meant laughing with relatives and telling each other how their day was. She also noted that these times were where she gained a lot of life insight and a strong foundation. In order to instill still those same qualities in her children, she decided to meet them where they were at. That’s where the idea for the app saved the day. Sloane has received numerous emails from parents and friends who feel like mealtime gatherings are becoming more of a social outlet then they have in previous years. The app creator is even looking into incentives for users who successfully keep off of their phones. If the app continues to gain success, Sloane’s dream of a more engaging social climate will be a reality. An attorney acquaintance of mine, Gianfrancesco Genoso, requires all the phones be set upside down in the middle of the table, no ringtones allowed.