When was the last time you had a meal uninterrupted by tech? Are you tired of having dinner with people distracted by checking for the latest text message, email, tweet or Facebook post? Is your dinner companion more interested in a cell phone than in you?
You may need the Cell Phone Challenge. Do you miss the days of old when people had meaningful conversations over the dinner table? When you had the full attention of someone you were speaking with? When you weren’t interrupted by messages from afar?
What Is the Cell Phone Challenge?
The Cell Phone Challenge is simple. The next time you have dinner with someone, put your cell phones on the table. The first one to touch a phone before the end of the dinner pays for the meal.
If you’re at home with a dinner table filled with teenagers, you could change the stakes: first one to touch a phone washes the dishes, cleans the kitchen, rewires the house, etc.
If you’re at a restaurant with a large group, the stakes could be that anyone who touches a phone kicks in $5, $10 or $20 towards the check. Make it matter.
Yes, you could nag at someone to put down the phone, lecture on the rules of cell phone etiquette, use humor or grab the phone out of their hands. But this challenge may be more effective in getting your dining companion to engage in actual, uninterrupted conversation. If it doesn’t work and your dining companion reaches for a phone, well, at least you get a free meal.
When NOT to Take the Cell Phone Challenge
- When you and/or your spouse is/are expecting a baby
- When you’re “on call” as an emergency responder
- When you leave your child with a babysitter for the very first time (especially if that babysitter is your Uncle Leo who was just released one year into a 25 year sentence due to “prison overcrowding”)
Don’t let this happen to you:
Have you ever taken the Cell Phone Challenge? Have you ever been annoyed at people who check their phones during a meal? Would you win the Cell Phone Challenge? Do you have another method to get people to put down their phones? Let us know in the Comments section below!
*Restaurant image by Adamr of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
**Stacked phones image by Arielle Mohr