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!