The other day I went to dinner with a friend. My phone was low on power--drained from listening to the Mets take 20 innings to lose a game. I plugged in before we went out.
When we were ready to go, I instinctively reached for my phone, because I never really walk out the door without it. We weren't going far, but that wasn't the point. It has become an appendage--a tether to the rest of the world, preventing me from straying too far from the other billions.
For some reason, I stopped. I realized that all I was doing was heading out to eat at a new place I was excited to go to for the first time and to catch up with a good friend. Neither of these tasks--eating, listening, talking, required an internet connection, let alone a phone. I decided to leave it.
"No phone with food," I said.
We ate at Bar Corvo. The food was terrific. Get the chicken--it's incredibly tasty. I focused on my friend across from me. An interesting byproduct of not having the phone on me was that there was a little extra incentive to maintain a good conversation. I couldn't supplement it with a wikipedia search for the official definition of "gratin" or a private viewing of the day's Instagram photos. I had to be fresh, original, and thoughtful. It was Humans Unplugged and it was really nice.
I think that's going to be the rule from now on--no phone with food--and I think I'm going to like it.