Shut Off the Smartphone, Lest You Kill the Bar Debate

There are times for your iPhone; the bar is not one
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2010 4:26 PM CDT
Don't let the iPhone take the place of Cliffie.   (AP)

(Newser) – Sure, you know to shut off your smartphone at the movies, maybe in the boardroom, and we hope in the bedroom, but there's one more place too sacred for technology: Your favorite watering hole. Ever since Derek Brown got that shiny iPhone, he finds himself Googling the answers to trivia questions instead of hashing them out with his fellow patrons, he writes in a lament for the barroom debate in the Atlantic.

"All of this is fine for knowledge's sake, but it does little for our public life. I find my attention increasingly away from open conversations, the glue of community. A great bartender is not made drink by drink, but relationship by relationship," Brown writes, concluding: "I suppose what it really means is that a little switch of the phone, from on to off, might be desirable from time to time."

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