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Cassie Fait, AfterTaste Columnist

Cassie Fait 

is a senior studying journalism and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Email her at or find her on Twitter at @foodiefait and Instagram at @cassiefait.

AfterTASTE: Cell phones cut off personal communication

I was seated at my favorite Japanese steakhouse restaurant, Shogun. The chef was performing intricate maneuvers, twirling knives and catapulting shrimp at individual plates. It was amazing, but when I looked around the table, patrons with illuminated faces were staring down at their gadgets. These people are missing the spectacle. Half the enjoyment of a Japanese steakhouse is the visual presentation of the food.

I am the first to admit that I have an attachment to my phone. However, cell phones need to be ignored in social situations, especially in dining areas. Friends come together to enjoy each other’s company. Those people cared enough to converge and have a good time. Electronics should not come in the way of that.

Even more irksome are those who decide to talk on the phone while at the table. It’s rude and disrespectful. Other customers in the restaurant do not want to hear you giving work updates or whispering love sonnets to your significant other. Your fellow dinner partners and other restaurant customers around your table want you to take it away from them. On the television series “Gilmore Girls,” Luke’s Diner has a policy of not allowing customers to talk on the phone. Luke, the owner, consistently throws out customers who ignore the rule.

Apart from the fictional world, some restaurants have started enacting policies that ban cell phones. Eatocracy compiled a list of restaurants that request customers don’t use cell phones. Some restaurants politely ask for patrons to refrain from using them. At one point, Rogue 24, a restaurant in Washington D.C., forced patrons to sign a contract, which included a promise to refrain from using your cell phone.

If handling work is so vital at the moment, then you should excuse yourself to the bathroom or to the restaurant’s exterior. But be mindful of how long you take. No one wants to feel left alone at the table.

Looking at social media is a whole other matter. It is fine to quickly post a photo of your food on Instagram, but get back to the conversation quickly. Very few things occurring on social media at that point in time are worth ignoring your dining companions.

If you want to make a game out of it, have one person place all the cellphones in a purse or jacket pocket. Then the annoying electronics are out of sight and out of mind. There’s less of a temptation to look at your gadget if it’s out of the way.

In a society where we must be connected at all times, users have started to ignore the world around them. Sometimes I learn more about people from what they post on social media than what they tell me in conversation. Put down the device or even leave it at home and really interact with your date, friends or family. Otherwise, you might as well have stayed at home and lived on Facebook.

Cassie Fait is a senior studying journalism and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. Email her at or find her on Twitter at @foodiefait and Instagram at @cassiefait.

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