Weekly challenge: stop texting when eating

Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald-Pool
Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald-Pool

Do you find it rude to play with your smartphone during a meal with a friend or loved one sitting across from you? Your answer may depend on your age — or the type of phone you own.

Nearly 90 percent of baby boomers reported that they would find the practice offensive, according to a new national survey conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, while just 44 percent of college students would. Even worse, 50 percent of 20-somethings think it is appropriate to text during a meal, compared to only 15 percent of those 30 and older.

Those who owned smart phones were more likely to tolerate texting, emailing, and web-surfing in between courses compared to those who had cell phones without these capabilities.


The ultimate in rudeness? Talking on a mobile device during a meal, which 84 percent of the total survey respondents said they deem to be impolite.

Anna Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, told USA Today that “one of the ways that we show respect is by giving people our full attention’’ and that, barring a real emergency, we should care most about the person we’re with, rather than the one trying to reach us electronically.

These are all valid points, but I think another one worth broaching is how important it is to practice mindfulness when eating — to enable yourself to fully enjoy the food and the company in front of you. It also keeps you from eating past the point of fullness, which is great for weight control.

Mindful eating is nearly impossible to do if you’re distracted by a buzzing text message.

Here are other ways to practice mindful eating.

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