Etiquette at the Dinner Table

Technological advancement has made life so much easier on so many levels, but it has taken away a little bit of humanity along with it. I know that this opening seems as if I am blaming technology for the disappearance of etiquette. Maybe technology is a little at fault, but my hope is to use that technology to remind everyone that etiquette remains an important aspect of humanity.

I was at a restaurant recently, and at the table nearest me was a family of four. Since I was by myself, and the restaurant was very quiet due to lack of any other customers, I couldn’t help but notice the patrons at this table. The mother and father and their two children, both girls, during a total time of about an hour, exchanged with each other a total of maybe six sentences.

The culprit of why the family was not speaking to one another was none other than the smart phone. The two girls were texting, while the mother played games. The father just sat there looking bored. At one point the waiter joked with them about whether the family would like to put their order in via their phones to which the dad replied, “I keep telling them to put their phones away, but it’s a lost battle.”

Undoubtedly, you have been with friends, or worse yet, with a date who’s phone has gone off in a restaurant while you are dining, and instead of apologizing and turning the phone off, they have answered the phone right there without even batting an eyelash at the lack of etiquette the person has displayed. I’ve had this happen, and my mouth often gets the best of me in these situations. I’ve told the person the same thing I am about to tell you, my readers. It is rude to answer your phone at the table. If the call is that important, excuse yourself temporarily from the table to answer it. There’s never a time you should answer your phone while you’re having dinner in a restaurant. If you forgot to turn your phone off, apologize to the people who are with you at the restaurant and turn it off then and there.

I think as technology has moved forward, some of us have forgotten that etiquette is still a major factor in all our lives. Don’t forget etiquette, please, and thank you.

This is a Guest Post by Haroon Monis, an author, teacher, and friend.  Learn more about him at

Here is a follow to this article, Surrender Phone at Dinner, Get a Discount

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