Do you really have to be on your phone?

This is something that has been bothering me for some time, and I really just feel the need to get it out there because it’s incredible frustrating for me, and something that I have a lot of questions and opinions around.

Recently, Alessio and I spent an amazing weekend away at Kievits Kroon. We were really just enjoying the time away and not having to stress about the responsibility of work or life in general, and naturally there were a lot of couples there for the same reason.

We enjoyed an absolutely delish meal each night at their fine dining restaurant, and I cannot fault the service or food, but I found myself so distracted by the other diners. Not because they were loud or obnoxious or even drawing attention to themselves, but everybody was on their phone!

I understand that joy of a smart phone is that we’re always in touch, but please can somebody explain to me why, when you’ve paid good money for a weekend to relax, you’re still trying to be everywhere but in the moment with whoever you’re with?

I don’t think Alessio and I are an exceptionally different couple, but one thing that has always been important to us is that when we’re enjoying a meal together, we need to respect the moment and the person we’re with and eliminate distractions.

When somebody at the table next to you is scrolling Facebook, or checking their email, it’s incredibly distracting and I swear it’s also infectious, causing everybody around them to do the same.

At Kievits Kroon, I watched the sad reality of couple sitting next to us where the husband paid more attention to his phone during the meal than he did to his own wife. She had clearly gotten dressed up for the occasion and was trying to make small talk, but he basically had a romantic meal with his phone. It made me upset for her, and angry at him.

What on earth could be so important on a Sunday night that it needs that much attention? When I looked around though, it seemed like it was the norm, sadly.

Last year we stayed over in Dullstroom on a Monday night on the way back from a weekend in Hoedspruit. We ate at my favourite restaurant in town, The Art of Food, and at the end of the meal the owner came over and offered us a limoncello on him because in his words: “You’re the most romantic couple in here, and the only couple that haven’t looked at your phones once.”

Yes, it made us feel good, but isn’t that a sad indication of what we’ve become? Why is it so difficult for people to talk during a meal? Why is it that important to know what’s going on outside of the moment you’ve opted to be in (and supposed to enjoy)?

Yes, I get that there are important emails and updates and phone calls, but as somebody who manages several social media accounts with high-pressure clients, I don’t see why I can manage to switch off for a few hours, but everybody else battles?

Is it self-discipline? Is it even important? What do you think, because I’m dying to know if I’m the exception to what I consider a sad rule…

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Travel & food blogger helping adventurous South Africans find their next escape.

Comments (5)

  • Great post. Also, Alessio must REALLY love you because I have never seen him stay off his phone for an entire meal (not that I have either). :)

    • Ha! I’m going to shout at him for being so rude to other people then!

  • Amen sister!

  • I agree. Irks me immeasurably.

  • Totally agree Kate.
    It’s scary to look around and see how little attention people pay to each other, in general. Davina isn’t on any social media and values quality time in the context of quality time (i.e. Phone less!) and that has helped me realize that social media creates mostly anti-social behaviors.


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