July 19, 2018 | Rachel Wagner If you enjoyed this, please share:There’s a new trend called the No-Phone Brunch. But, the concept can be applied to any restaurant meal or when out having drinks with friends. Here’s how it works: Everyone puts their phones in the middle of the table, and the first person to reach for theirs has to pay the entire bill. Sounds harsh, but it’s catching on as a means to connect with each other face to face. How often do you see just the opposite? People sitting around the table with heads bowed over the phone, not even talking to each other. I was honored to be interviewed, along with two other etiquette and social media experts, by @JennSinrich for her great article on this topic in Glam magazine. Several reasons that were highlighted in the article for putting phones away at brunch, or at any restaurant meal, are the following: To give each other the gift of our presence. That real connectedness doesn’t happen when checking social media updates or sports scores on our devices while gathered at the table. Real connectedness only happens when we are face to face conversing. We can’t show real happiness, empathy or concern with emojis and “likes.” We can only express it face-to-face with our words, laughter, and body language, including eye contact, nodding gently to show we’re listening or that we understand, and even an arm around the shoulder to show we care. Interacting face-to-face gives us a much-needed break from the screen, which we look at an estimated 10 hours a day, according to a recent Nielsen Company report. Instead of viewing tweets and news apps at the table that can often lead to heated conversations, a phone break has mood-boosting benefits. It’s more fun to hear about someone’s vacation than to talk politics. These tips will not only help boost your social skills, but may even improve your overall enjoyment in life. Here is the article in its entirety in Glam. You may also like to read: The Good, Bad and Ugly of Technology Gadgets.