Obsessive social media use has made meal conversations nearly extinct. Instead of interacting with the people they’re eating with, diners are too busy staring at their phones or taking selfies and food photos.
IKEA Taiwan thinks that this has to stop. According to Vice, the company has developed a means to force diners to focus on conversation instead of checking Twitter every two minutes during their meals.
They have designed a nifty table that uses customers’ phones as part of the heating element that cooks their food. The IKEA table requires everyone to surrender their phones or else they won’t be able to eat.
A YouTube ad promoting their new ploy posted earlier this week shows a family out for a hot pot meal.
As expected, the moment the food is brought out, some members of the family get their phones ready for the usual food pictorial mini-shoots. However, when the cooking setup is revealed, the diners realize that they will have to resist taking photos with their phones or else they will not be able to cook their food.
Immediately after they surrender their phones, a miracle happens: they start talking to each other. They begin laughing and teasing each other like normal human beings of old.
While it is clear that we are still far from actually seeing this being used in any restaurant, this video can at least be a reminder.
If you are in a restaurant with friends or family, be actually there, enjoy the moment and kill that witty Instagram caption idea from your head.