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Challenge 3: Drop the phone at dinner

Week two of Live A Better Life is all about challenging yourself.

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IT’S WEEK TWO of our Live A Better Life series, and it’s all about challenging yourself.

Yesterday, we tackled using our phone on our commute – by taking a break from it.

How did you get on? Would you do it again? Tell us in the comments.

Today, we’re looking at phones and meal times.

Looking at your phone during a meal has gone from being rude to fairly acceptable. Annoying, yes, but many people do it.

A quarter of Irish people use their phones when eating at home or out at a restaurant, according to Deloitte’s most recent consumer survey.

We asked our readers last week if they look at their phone during meals, and here’s what they said:

mealtimes phone Source: aoife

  • 35% (3098 people) said: Yes, but only if on my own
  • 20% (1851) said: Yes
  • 15% (1360) said: Sometimes
  • 14% (1301) said: Never
  • 13% (1210) said: Rarely

That’s a lot of people checking their phone.

shutterstock_485314003 Why look at your phone when there's delicious food to be eaten? Source: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

According to the Pew Research Center, checking your phone while eating with others can look rude.

88% of respondents to their survey said they believe it’s “generally” not OK to use a phone during dinner.

Meanwhile, a study from the University of Michigan found that:

people’s attitudes about whether or not you should be using a mobile phone at mealtimes depends heavily on what you are doing, and who else is at the table.
“These results are interesting because they challenge the idea that using your phone during a shared meal is categorically inappropriate. What we find is that attitudes are much more nuanced than that,” said Carol Moser, a doctoral student at the U-M School of Information and the study’s lead author. “A quick text or even phone call with your boss might be okay. Watching someone across the table thumb through their Facebook feed, that’s different.”

Do you agree?

So, for today’s challenge, we’re going to stay away from our phone while eating dinner.

Yes, just one meal. Whether you’re at home, with pals, or at a restaurant: put away that phone for the duration, and don’t be tempted to take a peek.

Let us know how you got on in the comments.

Live A Better Life: The series so far>

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