Mind Your Table(t) Manners


This post originally ran on Peppercomm’s PepperDigital Blog.

My name is Laura and I’m a Foursquare addict.

Yes, I’ll admit it—I love Foursquare. I want to be “The Mayor” of all of my favorite spots (including the Peppercomm office, which is currently under an intense mayorship war). I love all of the different badges you can earn. While I don’t usually get addicted to these types of things, the gamification of how many times I go to the laundromat or the gym is so appealing and makes my boring day-to-day errands much more fun.

I know I’m not alone in my addiction. I see my coworkers and non-industry friends with smart phones doing the exact same thing. Some are also addicted to checking in on Facebook, tweeting exactly what comes in their heads (all the time) or instagramming everything from the chili they just cooked to a dead bird they saw on the side of the street.

But where does one draw the line?

When out with a client, I was at a new restaurant in a state I’ve never visited. I was excited to check-in and see if I would get a new badge. After being seated, I went to whip out my phone, but then remembered one big thing: common courtesy and table manners (OK, those are two big things). I always apologize if I receive a text or phone call when at dinner. So is it really appropriate to check-in all the time? No, it can be perceived as rudeness.

We’re at a point where we’re seemingly always connected via text, email and social media. That doesn’t seem necessary.  In fact, if you’re checking all of these different communication channels, it could indicate to the other person that there is something more interesting in the social spheres than with the person you’re with. I think we can all have dinner or meet with friends/family without checking our phones for an hour or so.

Fight the addiction and don’t be a phone-checking maniac. If all else fails, you can try the phone stack challenge, but really, is it so hard to mind your table manners?


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