Monday, January 5, 2015

When to use a smartphone in a restaurant

By Drapplesi (Own work) [GFDL
(http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
This isn't a rant. It's not a diatribe. It's simply my point of view.

I don't carry a smartphone.

They're easy to get and operate. But I resist using one.

Why?

Because it quickly becomes an intruder in my real life. And, if we're having a conversation, it's intruding in your life, too.

I believe in the art of listening over the artifice of texting. I believe in building relationships between placing my order and the arrival of the meal. I believe in eye contact, not eyestrain.

And I find the creepy blue glow of a smartphone casts an unflattering pallor over the face of the person using the phone. In a dim restaurant, it looks like a scene from "The Walking Dead." Yick.

Yes, I've used Yelp to help me find interesting restaurants. But I don't want Yelp to tell me whether I should bring preconceived opinions to a dining experience while I'm eating. I want to savor the entree and decide from an unbiased point of view.

I'm not anti-electronic, by any means. I own and use a tablet. I just choose to put it away and concentrate on being authentically engaged in a conversation.

And, when you strip away all the electronics, all the search engines, and all the analytics, great PR is supposed to build engaging conversations.