Over the last year or so especially, as Instagram has really taken off, I’ve noticed a phenomenon. Maybe you’ve seen it too. It goes something like this.
You’re scanning your Twitter or Facebook feed and you see an update like, “Out to dinner with my wonderful spouse to celebrate our anniversary.” And then there’s a picture. Then a few minutes later there’s another picture showing the appetizer they got. Then another picture pops up with the updater’s main course and that of their spouse. Then pictures of dessert.
To be honest, these kinds of things really make me sad. They really do. Because what it signifies is that the person who is doing all of that posting is really not focusing on that special person they’re with. Every time you see a tweet or a Facebook update with a picture, that’s a moment where that special someone is sitting there while the updater is looking at his or her phone. It means that the person doing those updates is thinking about the social network more than the person they’re with. If you’re out with a truly special person, I feel like these actions really must be hurtful to that person, especially if it’s an anniversary.
We all love to share these days, and I get that. But I make a conscientious effort to keep my phone buried in my purse when I’m out with someone. I have never (to the best of my knowledge) taken and posted a picture of food while I’ve been out with a friend or a family member. In fact, and you’re going to think this is really wacky, I sometimes go out to eat with a person and don’t even take a picture of us together. Why? Because when I’m out with a person (and I don’t want you all to take this the wrong way) I’m actually wanting to be WITH that person. I love you all but feel certain you can survive a brief absence on my part.
With all of that being said, I have an experiment I want you to try. Are you ready?
The next time you go out to eat with a friend or family member at a restaurant, I want you to keep your phone in your pocket or in your purse. In fact, if no one will likely need to reach you for an hour or so, leave the phone entirely at home. Don’t think about how good that martini would look with a tinted Instagram look to it. Don’t think about how awesome a time you’re having and how you should probably tell your 5,000 closest friends about it. Enjoy the person you’re with. Converse with them without interruption. Enjoy the food not as it looks on your phone, but rather how it tastes in your mouth. Go a whole meal without posting to your networks.
I suspect you will find that you enjoy yourself much more than usual.
If you do this experiment, come back and tell me how it went. Did you survive a whole meal without your phone? Was it fun? I’m looking forward to hearing about it!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/procsilas/306417902/ via Creative Commons