14 Oct 10

Thursday’s Thoughts From a Bartender: Put Away Your Phone

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By Jack Elliot

“Hey, I’m at the bar with the guys, do you want to meet up with us for happy hour?” he texts, while sitting at the bar just after ordering his first drink. “Sure, I’ll be there in a little, just give me a few minutes to get ready,” she texts back.

One would think that texts like these would, by and large, be the extent of most text conversations that start at a bar. One would think that, while at a bar, the main purpose would be to enjoy your drinks, talk with your friends, socialize, and mingle with the people around you. Because, isn’t that the purpose of going out… to meet and see people? Well, one would think.

Yet more and more often, I’ll watch as some customers, for hours on end, do nothing but text or make phone calls the entire time they’re at the bar, all the while taking no notice of the people around them. Is it just me, or doesn’t it seem strange to enter an environment where the protocol is to interact with the people around you, and instead shut yourself off to the outside world and stare at a screen?

Of course, there are many acceptable scenarios that could warrant a text or two from someone at a bar (i.e. directions, plans to meet up with different people later on, etc.) – but to hold full on conversations? I’m sorry, but I am confounded and appalled by this abnormal social behavior.

If someone is so interesting to text and talk to- why don’t you bring them along to the bar with you? Or, if someone is so interesting to text and talk to- why are you sitting alone at a bar instead of being off somewhere with them? If someone is so interesting to talk to…why aren’t you actually talking to him or her? Beats me.

I have trouble imagining the types of text message conversations that could possibly go on for hours. For some reason, I fear that they may go something like this:

Texter 1: “Hey, what’re you up to?”
Texter 2: “Oh not much, just sitting at the bar.”
Texter 1: “Oh awesome.”
Texter 2: “Yeah, its awesome…what are you up to?”
Texter 1: “Same thing.”
Texter 2: “Oh awesome.”
Texter 1: “Yeah, its awesome.

Or, perhaps you’ve come across the occasional bar-goer who does engage in conversation with you, but only in short, interrupted intervals at a time because he or she is too busy texting someone who is obviously more important than you- which tends to convey the message that said texter would so rather be somewhere else.

Cut me a break. Put away your phone while you’re out at a bar. Because, let’s be honest, what’s the point of going out if you’re just going to be the strange anti-socialite sitting at the corner of the bar? I mean the text messages may be great and hilarious and everything you’ve ever hoped for, but the message that you’re sending out to the people around you is anything but.

  • What do you think?

About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”

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