McDonald’s is experimenting with a new program that has nothing directly to do with food. But it does have a lot to do with diners’ ability to enjoy their McFood in a quiet, tranquil environment. It’s a bold effort to get patrons to ‘park their phones while they are come into a McDonald’s for a sit-down meal…
McDonald’s Singapore has test-launched a ‘Park Your Phone’ policy in its restaurants. New smart phone ‘lockers’ have been installed at the entrances to the locations and stickers have been placed on tables requesting diners not use their phones during their meal.
“As a popular restaurant destination for families, we have observed that the use of mobile devices during meal times may sometimes get in the way of family bonding,” Linda Ming, McDonald’s Director of Communications and Customer Care, told Channel News Asia.
The move is an attempt to make the dining experience a little nicer for everyone, but it is meeting with a lot of push-back. It seems McCustomers are, in the main, unable to put their phones down for even five minutes let alone the half hour the average family spends eating. And the lockers apparently are empty most of the time.
It’s just another symptom of the addiction that huge numbers of people today have to their phones. Especially young people. Read: Millennials. They can’t stand to be ‘disconnected’. They exhibit actual emotional and physical symptoms when kept from playing with their phones. That’s probably because their entire lives consist of messaging, surfing and brief conversational transactions on their phones. The joke about two people at the same dining table messaging each other on their phones rather than just talking to each other is no joke. I’ve seen it. In restaurants. And not just in Fast Food joints, either.
And when a big chain like McDonald’s tries to make a difference? The addicted masses resist suggestions and requests with all their might. And their noise and hi jinx really do effect everyone’s digestion.
Phones have no place at the dinner table – be it McDonald’s, a fine dining spot where people still insist on taking pictures of their plates, or your own family repast. When it gets to the point that people don’t act as though they are together when they are together, it’s time for an intervention.
How about somebody inventing an app that disables all cell phones within a home or business space? Call it a jammer. It can’t come soon enough for me.
~ Maggie J.