Does Your Smartphone Go Next To The Salad Fork Or The Soup Spoon? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Does Your Smartphone Go Next To The Salad Fork Or The Soup Spoon?

Play associated audio

As part of a new tech segment, we're starting a social media advice column in which we'll ask experts your questions about how to behave online. This week's experts are Baratunde Thurston, former digital director of The Onion and author of How to Be Black; and Deanna Zandt, author of Share This! How You Will Change The World With Social Networking.

You can send your questions to alltech@npr.org or put them in the comments below.

This week's question: Is it bad manners to have technology at the dinner table?

Baratunde Thurston: "I'm generally not a fan of gadgets at the table, but it depends on the age of the people I'm hanging out with. These 20-somethings ... everybody just displays their devices. It becomes not a dinner, but a mobile gathering of black screens. But the tone of whoever's house you're in is probably a good rule to follow."

Deanna Zandt: "I also think that we just need to be clear about our needs and expectations. I had a boyfriend once who brought comic books with him when we went out to dinner."

Thurston: "So you said 'had a boyfriend,' so this is past tense?"

Zandt: "Yes, had — this is all past tense. But this was what his normal was. And so we ended up having an agreement where there were dinner nights where we took books with us, and then we would discuss what was going on in our comic books, and it ended up being a really nice thing. So you can facilitate what your needs are and what your normal is."

Thurston: "There's a friend of mine who has this movement called 'I am here.' And the point is, let's be present. So let's, for dinner, put that all away — unless you have a deal where we're going to talk about the tweets and text messages that we're getting."

Zandt: "Which could get really meta really fast."

Thurston: "It's the new normal."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

John Darnielle's novel, Wolf in White Van, is about a man who survives a trauma. The songwriter tells Fresh Air about his difficult childhood and finding shelter in music and the Incredible Hulk.
NPR

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine

Every September, top chefs from around the world gather to celebrate the diversity of Peruvian cuisine. But not everyone is convinced the food boom is the answer to the country's historic challenges.
NPR

Iran's Foreign Minister: U.S. 'Not Serious' About Defeating Islamic State

In an interview with NPR, Mohammad Javad Zarif says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to defeating the Islamist insurgency.
NPR

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

With the price of solar panels falling, more municipalities and homeowners are installing them. But having solar panels doesn't mean you won't lose power in a blackout — at least not yet.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.