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Phone Roulette

Photo by Sarah Ryan ’17

As cellular technology continues to become more advanced, especially with the unveiling of everyone’s newest obsession, the iPhone 6, I am fully realizing how dependent society is on phones. No matter where we go, who we are with, or what we are doing, everyone always has a phone or tablet on his or her person. Because the over-reliance upon these technological devices have begun to take a toll on old-fashioned, face-to-face interaction, there has been a surge in new ways to avoid being “that one person” who can’t get off of the phone during a that increasingly rare time to slow down and simply enjoy the company of others: meal time. A game knows as “phone roulette,” modeled after the much more perilous game of Russian roulette, has become particularly popular.

The moment you sit down at a table when you are out to eat with other people, everyone makes a mutual agreement to put their phones face down in a pile in the middle of the table for the entire meal. As the meal progresses, people are forced to communicate with their peers without the comfort of using their phones as a way out of awkward silences. The first person to pick up their phone from the center of the table is responsible for paying for the entire meal. This wrinkle adds a crucial element to the game: Stay off your phone, and you just might get to dine for free!

When going out to eat with friends, family, or whomever else, common courtesy suggests that you should probably pay attention to the people you are with. The roadblock in this simple ideal is the excessive use of and overwhelming attachment to our phones. Whether it be Instagramming, Snapchatting, Facebook messaging, Tweeting, or even just taking some not-so-secret selfies, we just can’t seem to separate real life from what is broadcasted on our screens. Playing a quick round of phone roulette next time you’re at the dinner table is an easy way to remind yourself to take a step back from technology and enjoy the surroundings right in front of you.