Wednesday, 9 July 2014

LIFE | Gadgets at the dinner table.

I would like to point out that I am going to sound like a 'Mum' in this post and yes I am sure I do think of certain aspects from a 'mum' point of view now that I am one but this is a subject that has riled me forever....or at least since gadgets and phones and what not became part of every day life:


Call me old fashioned but I think that dinner at the table be it with family or friends is a time to be social and I don't mean by tweeting your mate back about what's happening Friday night. I mean with the people right there, in the same room as you right now who are asking you how your day was. Maybe it is because I am from the last generation of people who spent most of their childhood without a mobile phone or ipad and social media but to me, there is a time and a place for them.

Dinner has always been one of my favourite times of day and not just 'cause of the grub! I have always loved the social aspect especially as we got older and busier. It was that one time of the day or week (if you're just visiting family) to sit down and enjoy good food and catch up. It actually offends me if someone prefers looking at a phone rather than talking to me.

The problem we have with this modern world is children growing up with technology and not knowing any different. It is down to the adults to teach them that while they are allowed to text their friends or play games, there is a time and a place and it is not socially acceptable to do it at the dinner table or at other sociable occasions. Otherwise the necxt generation will be attending amazing parties they have been looking forward to for weeks, only to stand there on their phones all night, tweeting about how great it is and sharing 'lolz' with their friends without actually uttering a word to each other.

I never understand people who go on holiday / for a weekend away / on a great night out and share pics every 2 minutes with captions like:

'Best night everrr'

'Best weekend everrrrrr'

'Best holiday everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr'

If it's that great you would have forgotten you own a phone ages ago and be busy enjoying yourself. In today's world people are far too busy trying to show everyone how much they are living their life without actually living it.

It was reported a few weeks ago that there is now an app which enables parents to shut down the internet, children's apps and any texting or calling while they sit at the table and have dinner. Has it come to this already? Yes, my daughter is only four months old and doesn't even know what an actual apple is let alone an apple gadget and maybe one day I will eat my words but I don't think so, I will not allow gadgets at the table no matter what age she is or what she does. EVER. I don't now and it won't change.

She won't have lots of gadgets until she is a lot older anyway as I really don't see why youngsters shouldn't be playing in the garden instead of sitting in front of a little screen.

When we were on holiday last year there was a couple with a young boy who was left in his pushchair while they ate which had an ipad stuck to it, probably only two inches from his face. The restaurants would have a dim, candlelit ambience and out of the corner of your eye you would catch a harsh, bright flickering light. Yes, they deserved to enjoy their holiday but they made the decision to have that child and should be teaching him good social skills. When he is older, they won't have any right to get annoyed with him if he can't understand why they don't want him texting all the time at the dinner table. It is too easy while they're young and need guidance to plonk them in front of something.

What do people think? Am I right? Or do I sound like a fuddy duddy?

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