Two London restaurants are taking a stand against mobile phones. The Tea Terrace Restaurant and Tea Room, located in House of Fraser on Oxford Street and Victoria Street, are operating a “Phonetentiary” scheme which will give customers the option of locking their phones away during the meal.
According to Ofcom, 93 per cent of UK adults owned a mobile phone in 2016. Nomophobia (or no-mobile-phobia) is the fear of being without your phone, YouGov have found that over half of phone users in the country suffer from the condition.
In a society that lives online and seems to revolve around Instagram likes and Facebook chats, is it surprising we hate to be separated from our mobiles? But, more importantly, is it healthy?
Author and Young Progress Makers mentor at The Evening Standard, James Borg, has spoken out about living life with your headphones in and seeing the world through the screen of your tablet. “What we’re missing is the importance of spontaneity on the phone, face-to-face we can take note of body language ‘leaks’, facial expressions as well as vocal clues,” he wrote in The Evening Standard.
He highlighted that other areas are also at risk from constant phone use: “It’s important to remember the flip side of any conversation: listening. A good listener ‘encourages’ and builds rapport.”
While our conversations are suffering, MIT studies have found that 24 hour device addiction is also incredibly isolating. Whether it helps you to concentrate on the meal you have ordered or speak to your friends and family in more than just emojis, it seems taking a break from mobiles could be beneficial.