Author Topic: Phone Stacking  (Read 26 times)

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Mac

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Phone Stacking
« on: February 06, 2012, 06:44:35 am »
Phone Stacking

This isn't techie. It's a social thing and I think brilliant.



Quote
So itís Saturday night and youíre out with friend. Are they the inconsiderate jerk who canít stop checking their smartphone? Or is that you?

Either way, hereís one way to make dinner a little more interesting.

Iíve seen/heard this described as both ďThe Phone Stacking GameĒ and ďDonít Be a Dick During MealsĒ. Itís been mentioned on a couple of blogs, but a quick  straw poll of my friends suggests that it hasnít become widespread yet, at least on the West Coast. Which is a shame, because itís perfect for folks in tech.

Hereís how it works: At the beginning of the meal, everyone puts their phone face down at the center of the table. As time goes on, youíll hear various calls, texts, and emails, but you canít pick up your phone. If youíre the first one to give in to temptation, youíre buying dinner for everyone else. If no one picks up, then everyone pays for themselves.

You can explain the game in a few different ways. Most obviously, it could be a protest against the incessant, unthinking use of cell phones during social gatherings. Or maybe itís a game that acknowledges the new reality and tests your willpower accordingly. Personally, I like to think of it as a free market exercise. After all, people love to say, ďSorry, but I have to take this.Ē Do you have to answer it? Really? Is it that important to you? Great, then you can pay.

No matter what the explanation, it could make for a tense meal.

Believe in Yourself
Because the rest of us think you're an idiot.

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Mac

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Re: Phone Stacking
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 06:52:54 am »
Insightful follow-up by someone else.

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GetKempt had a story this week about a new dinner challenge that's a test of will and stamina. Think quarters, but less eye-hand coordination.

It's called "phone stacking," and it requires everyone, at, say, a dinner party or happy hour, to relinquish their cellulars to the middle of the table and leave them there for the duration of the meal. Be it a game, mandate, stress-test or perhaps welcome relief, it seeks to quell the ****-storm of social media-induced rudeness we've collectively adopted, putting technology ahead of good company.

All rings, dings, beeps, quacks, and blinks are to go unanswered. Taunting you. Laughing at you. Frolicking in the joy of knowing who has done what, where, when and how, while you -- lonely, little you -- must sit amongst friends and focus on them only.

That catch in phone stacking is that the first person to pick up their phone has to buy dinner for everyone else.

A few days after the GetKempt article ran, writer Russell Brandom addressed a few objections to the concept of phone stacking. One repeated plea was, "My job requires me to be on call 24 hours a day."

"No it doesn't; you just like to say that," wrote Brandom.

Checking my phone constantly is an absolutely shameless habit. My phone blinks. And I love its blinking. But that blink can also be like a headlock. Fire alarms, cross walk signals and fallen down old ladies get less attention than that blink.

A while back I was at Oak and noticed soon after arriving that every person down the long bar to my right and left was passing bits and bites with a swipe of their forefinger. My own power game ensued. Should I be a renegade and just sit there and do nothing?

No phone for me, I decided. But, then no one noticed because they were all too busy with texting and browsing. They don't have TVs at Oak, and I got pretty bored pretty quick, which is one reason phones are so handy.

Phones can be shields sometimes, too. They help us avoid conversations and interacting when we specifically don't want to for whatever reason.

But it's one thing when we're passing time or shielding ourselves, another when we're at dinner with friends, which is what phone stacking was built for. Does the urge to check your email trump the friends sitting in front of you? Will a blinking light work your nerves like a termite in wood, gnawing at you until you slap plastic on the table and yell, "I'm out! Dinner's on me!"

I can't wait to stack.
Believe in Yourself
Because the rest of us think you're an idiot.

 

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