New Rules of Dining Etiquette for the Digital Age

Do you love food? Do you love your mobile phone? Do you love to take photos? Do you love social media? Well guess what, you are in luck! So does everyone else! It used to be considered rude to be on your celly while at the dinner table, but now, it’s in vogue. Lucky you!

Here are my new rules for dining etiquette in the digital age.*

1) Why have one conversation at a time when you can have two or three? Texting with intermittent conversation with your table mates is a great way to let your buddies know it is OK for them to use their phones too. In fact, be extra polite and just forego talking at all and spend all your time on your phone!


2) If you are confronted with a rude dining partner that really wants to “catch up” then it’s polite to oblige them even as the rest of the world blurs by. But, don’t worry. As soon as your dinner companion leaves the table for a bathroom break, you can immediately get your pacifier phone out and catch up on what you’ve been missing on Justin Bieber’s twitter feed.


3) When served a dish, take a picture of it before biting into it. This is a signal to the chef that you think the food is beautiful and the moment is worth being preserved for ever. For extra politeness points, share it immediately on Instagram. People need to know what a steak looks like.

steakSee, this is a steak.

4) Sharing videos at the table is encouraged. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same sense of humor. If your guests do want to share something “that is the funniest thing you’ll ever see,” prepare for disappointment. Simultaneously, prepare your best fake laugh. There’s no quicker way to ruin a nice meal than awkward silence.

vidCats. How can this not be hilarious?

5) Nothing should be left to table discussion when the answer can be found quickly and efficiently on your phone. Is that olive on your plate a fruit or vegetable? No debating! Google knows and so should your whole table. Don’t waste precious meal time thinking and discussing objective questions.


6) Putting your phone on the table is acceptable, but for the love, have some class and set it down face up, and on vibrate. This is optimal as the ring won’t disturb anyone when you get a text/call/notification, yet the lit up phone let’s everyone know that something important requires your attention and you are likely only 50% listening to them and 50% wondering what it says on your phone. It’s sort of like a wrap it up signal for your table mate.


What are other rules are we missing?

(Author’s note: yes, this is tongue in cheek. Yes, I’m an offender. If you can’t laugh at yourself…)

*Source: Restaurant, bars, dinner tables across America.