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Smart phones at the dinner table - not always smart

AT&T launches push-to-talk service for the iPhone.

AT&T launches push-to-talk service for the iPhone. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Even with ringers turned off, smartphones have a way of interfering with restaurant meals. Next time you eat out, look around and, chances are, you’ll find more than one person in the house checking up on emails and/or text messaging. People dining out with family and friends are so connected to their phones, they’re actually losing out on connecting with those at the table.

I recently heard of a solution. When one group of 30-year-olds I know dines out together, everyone places their cellphones in a pile at the center of the table. First one to pick up a phone pays for everyone.

That said, it should be noted that having the right app on your cellphone can be a plus when reading the menu at some restaurants. At a recent dinner at the dimly lit and atmospheric Kazan in Port Washington, a nearby table of eight looked like attendees at a rock concert, their flashlight-app-equipped phones held before them.

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