I DO NOT GIVE UPTAKE TO THE NOTION THAT PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO USE THEIR CELL PHONES AT MY TABLE.
Here’s a notice I’ve sent to organizers of a reading group we host to exemplify what my hubby and I are doing in OUR HOME to mitigate this (anti) social problem. (Asking people not to use cell phones at our table didn’t work, nor did placing a friendly request on the door, nor did posting a notice on the reading group forum online.)
“We’ve a policy about cell phones which we will make clear to everyone from the beginning of term. And this is a general policy for our home, not ‘our reading group’-specific. Just as we don’t allow smokers in our home, we don’t allow cell phones at the table. I’ve noticed the looks on the faces of people who take a turn to speak only to be met with someone, or some others, texting or turning their heads to check their phones. It gives speakers the message that what they have to say isn’t important, and it’s distracting to everyone else. Since we’ve noticed people sneaking cell-phone peeks, notwithstanding our entreaty for etiquette in our home, we’ve decided that this year cell phone use during any and all events we host will be relegated to the front porch along with the smokers. If our out-with-the-smokers move seems too harsh, you folks will remember that even before Paul quit smoking, we did move smokers outside in courtesy for those bothered by the smoke. Some people are as bothered by cell phones as others are by smoke.”
So what will we do if people continue to ignore our request for cell phone etiquette? The offenders will be asked to leave.