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Do You Text at the Table?

After reading Vicki Davis' post on Cell Phones and Sleep Deprivation , and then seeing the New York Times article on texting during mealtimes, I wondered how many of YOU text during family meals, or allow your teenagers to? I have to admit that at times, we've all done it at our home. Our family tries to make an effort to place all the phones away from the table and on the kitchen counter, but that "buzz" from the phone vibrating just screams for our attention. Do any of these "reasons" for access to the cell phone during family meals sound familiar?

  • Mom, just this one last text and I promise, I'll put it away

  • I'm waiting on an important e-mail from work

  • I told _____ to call me as soon as he gets ready to leave, so I have to answer my phone

  • But (fill in your own excuse here)

I imagine most of us are guilty at one time or another of interrupting family time with our cell phones. When is it okay, and when is it not okay? Does allowing cell phone mean we value less our family time and place more importance on our social network? When is enough, enough?

The concern is much more than cell phones, television, or other interruptions. At the core are timeless issues of value, respect, time and family. Sounds like something important to discuss with our own families and maybe as a part of a practical problem solving scenario in the family and consumer sciences classroom. This may also be a great idea for a project for FCCLA members through programs such as Families First or Power of One.


  1. This article got my attention. It amazes me that people think they are communicating since they are plugged into all of the technology.I find it more than rude and NOT communicating when you are with someone & they cannot ignore the cell phone or they are constantly checking messages. I feel like I do not matter. I witness couples out to dinner with the family, Mom is on cell, kids texting or playing a game and Dad-what else but on his cell. What is the point of going out together if you truly are not going to spend the time communicating with each other. I think this would be a good discussion topic on the concept of being a good listener, a good communicator, family values, etc.