Is It Right to Use Your Gadgets at the Dining Table?
I hate to see people using their mobile phones or any gadget at the dining table for some reasons:
- It’s a disrespect for food. Call me an old-fashioned lady who cannot blend with the trend. That doesn’t offend me, anyway. I hold onto the belief that food is sacred, a grace. As Christians, we’re supposed to be thankful for the grace of having something to nourish our physical body. Food is supposed to be enjoyed, not just a necessity to fill an empty stomach. We should be mindful that we are still way too fortunate than many others. Why? There are countless people around the world who could only dream of having a morsel. And many displaced families and individuals have to contend with limited rations.
- It’s an insult to the person who prepared the food. It’s a subtle way of saying, “I detest the food you serve, but I have to be here because you obliged me to”. Well, if this is an issue for you, could you not just politely say you’re full and have to decline the offer? Or, is it that you simply want to ignore the presence of someone on the other side of the table? Can we not just look at the positive side of the situation? Try to appreciate that someone made the effort to serve us - that we have been spared from the obligation of preparing the food ourselves.
- It tears families and relationships apart. Mealtime is supposed to be family time. Or, a time to catch up with those you live with (that is if you don’t have a family). Mealtime is the time when members should communicate with one another - sharing personal experiences and stories of the day. One reason for a dysfunctional family or relationship is the fact that the members don’t talk with each other anymore. That’s why it’s no surprise why some people get depressed! They feel abandoned and alone.
Sadly, many individuals mistake CONNECTION for CONVERSATION. That is called a false sense of connectivity. Reaching for your mobile device to CONNECT with a virtual friend instead of talking with the person next to you does not guarantee a good CONVERSATION. You can’t even be sure that the other person is a friend. A text message can be edited to make it favorable to you. And you wouldn’t see his or her reaction either. Whereas, a face-to-face conversation allows you to see a real and spontaneous response. You may not like the reaction, but it’s real - without pretensions.
Now, my question is this: is it so difficult to put down your phone for at least 15 minutes during meal time? Or, are you just too addicted to your device that you felt like dying if it is detached from you even for a minute? The little device in your pocket can take a powerful control over you. It can dramatically change who you are and what you do. Worse, it might be too late for you to realize that you’re losing the people you love.