Can phones affect the way our food tastes?

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As a digital person most often surrounded by other digital people, I see the backs of a lot of mobile phones and a lot of people see the back of mine. Endless studies have been conducted into the way this little device, which holds pretty much all the knowledge in the world and access to likeminded people from across the world, alters the way we interact with the people sat opposite with us in a range of social situations.

However a new study has shown that aside from altering the flow of conversation with friends, having a phone at the table can actually affect the way we enjoy the tastes and smells of food.

It seems like the sort of statement us tech-savvy lot would scoff at but the results and the study seem sound, with diners invited aboard a restaurant in a disused tube carriage (the unusual setting all the more suited to social sharing) and asked to put their phones away from the second course onward.

After some initial anger and anxiety at being detached from their device, the diners were asked to detail their experience. Fairly obviously the conversation flowed better and more naturally, but many also pointed out that they more actively enjoyed the aroma and tastes of the food when they weren’t concerning themselves with finding the best angle for Instagram.

Interestingly though, only around 30% supported a ban on phones in restaurants but 80% thought they should be put away at the dinner table. Looks like table manners aren’t dead just yet!

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Kids running up digital purchase bills

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As technology gets more and more impressive, so too does the ability of our kids to master it earlier. My 7-year old certainly knows how to use one, and these days it’s common to see small children swiping and poking at tablets with a confidence that’s enviable to anyone has had to adapt to using one since they hit shelves.

It seems that some children though are so good at using iPads and tablets that it’s costing their parents money, and thanks to easy app purchasing and in-app purchases kids are running up bills on their parents’ cards with ease.

This is where it’s necessary to go into statistics I’m afraid, but if you’ve also got little ones they’re worth taking in. A new study has shown that 84% of children purchase digital downloads with their pocket money whilst 32% of parents tried to steer their children clear of downloads in case it left them vulnerable to inappropriate material.

Everyone is always going to parent differently but if you haven’t already now might be a good time to evaluate just how your little ones use the family tablet.

Apple and Hermès collaboration is on sale now!

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I love my Apple watch and, as the editor of my own high-end fashion website, Compellier, I also love luxury products. That’s why I’m very excited by Apple’s partnership with French lifestyle brand Hermès.

For those who don’t know, Hermès specialise in leather accessories and they must be doing something right as they’ve been trading for close to 200 years.

Now though, they’ve partnered with Apple to bring a bit of extra style to the Apple Watch, with a range of straps and new watch faces available for the discerning buyer.

There’s a price to pay for combining Apple’s cutting edge tech with the quality of a venerable Parisian accessory house of course, with the double tour strap edition of the Apple Watch costing a cool £808 ($1,250 USD).

It’s a bold move but a totally understandable one on the tech giant’s part, as the new collaboration sees Hermès steering the Apple’s wearable tech away from being a gadget and closer to being a luxury watch and style item.

I certainly can’t say I wouldn’t have been tempted if I didn’t already own an Apple watch!

Facebook finally create a dislike button

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It seems that Facebook has finally given in to the demands of its users and is working on a ‘dislike’ button.

Whilst it seems to be the perfect companion to their world famous ‘like’ system, it’s something that Mark Zuckerberg and his team have strenuously resisted in the past, fearing that the ability to dislike somebody’s news, tastes or updates will create an antagonistic atmosphere.

Of course you can already argue with your Facebook friends to your heart’s content in the comments section but most people are socially aware enough to not just jump in with two feet whenever you don’t like something, that’s usually reserved for more ideological disagreements.

Facebook say they want the new feature to express condolence or sympathy, because lets face it you shouldn’t be ‘liking’ somebody’s upsetting news. I can’t help feeling they should have called it a sympathy button instead of the harsh dislike. Maybe the huge global presence should have tried something different instead of sticking so closely to its brand on this one.

Read more from Danielle and the DDCA team on the DDCA website.