The obvious advantage of modern technology is that it allows us to be connected all the time, almost everywhere. Though some might say that the constant need to be connected has become more of an addiction. It is not unusual to see people at a restaurant engrossed in their smartphones, barely talking to the people they’re out with. While some of these people might be catching up on something important, most of them are usually checking social networks or playing games. We’ve all done it at some point. A restaurant owner in Israel is giving an incentive to his patrons if they switch off their phones, a full 50 percent discount on the check.
Jawdat Ibrahim owns the Abu Ghosh restaurant in a village of the same name outside Jerusalem. He is of the view that he’s changing something, a small change nonetheless, that might some day perhaps affect the “culture of eating” in modern times. Ibrahim didn’t like to see friends or even married couples sitting in silence and devoted to their devices, staring at them while the food grew cold, which meant that they ultimately sent it back to be reheated. He hopes that this added incentive might push patrons to appreciate the conversation, companionship and obviously the food. The restaurant initially tried collecting phones at the entrace, though that proved to be cumbersome. Customers are now trusted to turn off their phones, silent mode won’t do as even texting is not permitted.