30 Jan

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

It seems that whenever I go out with my girlfriends, they spend so much time looking at their smart phones that I wonder even why they bother going out. I’ve mentioned that I find it rude but they sort of keep sneaking peeks, claiming that the babysitter may be trying to reach them.

Any ideas?



Dear Luddite (Does that rhyme with Crudite?),

Yeah, I hear you. I hear you because I also have friends and family members who tell me that I’m on my (Very) Smart (and Beautiful) phone all the time. But I can’t help it! What if I’m spending time with my friends like an idiot and miss an email about Target’s latest promotion or a text from one of my kids letting me know that the other one is a HUGE STUPID DUMMY! Or a tweet! OMG. What if someone tweets and I’m not there to see it? Will that tweet even exist?

If this existential exploration isn’t exactly what you had in mind, I have some other ideas.  (And I’m going to assume, based on your question, that you already had the mature “It bothers me when you constantly check your phone while we’re out together because it makes me feel like you’re not fully present and are also probably plotting to kill me” and “the babysitter may be trying to reach me” is the grandchild of “the dog ate my homework” discussion. )

1. Play a fun game! I heard of a new trend of everyone putting their phones into the center of the table and the first person to reach for hers pays for everyone’s dinner. Surf and Turf with truffles, here you come!

2. Every time someone checks her phone, say “OMG, is everything alright? What was THAT all about? No, I don’t believe that it was nothing. Let me see! GIVE ME THAT PHONE!”

3. Instead of meeting at local restaurant next time, try a nearby cave (call ahead to make sure there’s no WiFi). Spelunking is the latest craze! Probably.

Hopefully, you and your friends will find a happy medium (try Patricia Arquette!) and  your friendship can survive this difference of opinion on etiquette.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

10 Responses to “Unplug!”


Comment by Rosstwinmom.

But checking my Twitter out at dinner with my family is fine, right? Because it’s the only way to pretend my children are eating and not being annoying.


Comment by Wendi.

I’m going to read this later on my iPhone when I’m at dinner with my friends.


Comment by mtwildflower.

I’m with you poster.

Rosstwinmom- We have a rule, no phones at the dinner table. We are also not allowed to rate (on a scale of 1 to 10) farts or burps at the dinner table, either.

Meredith L. Reply:

But if you don’t rate your farts or burps, how do you know who wins?


Comment by Meredith L..

*Putting on my for-serious face*

I hate to split hairs – man, I need a haircut – but are your friends simply looking at their phones, or actually swiping them open and pressing stuff? If it’s the former, I think that’s fine. When I go out without my entourage (family), I usually leave my iPhone on the table next to my place setting so I won’t miss a call or text from my husband or babysitter. And, honestly, if someone told me to put my phone away, I’d be annoyed – the whole reason I have a cell phone is so that when I leave my 3-year old with someone who is not me, that non-me person can reach me immediately if necessary. It doesn’t mean I’m on email, or Twitter, or FB all during my time out.

However, if your friends *are* on Twitter or FB or checking email every two seconds, that *is* annoying. You can always go the passive-agressive route: “I’m sorry I’m so boring in person. You want to just go home and gaze at your laptop the rest of the night, and we’ll post on each other’s FB walls instead of talking face to face?”


Comment by Kelly.

I’ve been known to interrupt my husband’s phone surfing to ask, “And how IS the internet?!?!” as if he’s checking in on a long-lost relative. This DOES make him stop checking his phone; however, it DOES NOT make him want to engage in meaningful conversation with me, so…?!? 🙂

Was hoping there’d be more comments with strategies here. It’s a tough question, no doubt.


Comment by Avprobeauty.

I have a guy friend *cough boy toy* that loves texting other people who are not with us when we are out together besides rolling my eyes and saying things like are you going to be on your phone all night, I have ( once at breakfast together) literally grabbed the phone out of his hands and sat with a smug grin on my face…he proceeded to say ‘point taken’ and the phone was returned….


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