Is mobile phone ban in pubs a step too far?
What would you do if you were asked to switch off your mobile phone in a pub or restaurant?
A pub in West Cork has put a ban on mobile phone use, claiming that it kills conversation and that anyone who wants to go out for a drink shouldn't have their head stuck in their phone.
This is absolutely correct - phones and technology have completely killed the art of conversation, but I'm unconvinced of the merits of imposing an all-out ban in places like pubs and restaurants.
Adults are free to make their own decisions and if they want to go for a quiet lunch, pint of a cup of coffee, who's to say that they shouldn't be allowed to look at their phone while they ear or drink?
In a idea world, everybody would be engaged with one another in a social environment, but to be honest if you are out solo, it's often quite useful to have your phone for company and as long as you're not disturbing other customers, then where's the harm.
It's not uncommon to see a group of people sitting or socialising 'together' around a table, all glued to their phones, but surely that is a matter for themselves, not the publican.
It's a great marketing tool and certainly grabbed attention, with many divided views on the phone ban.
Aside from the fact that it prevents patrons from making their own decision about their technology use, it's also impractical in some ways.
Many of us cannot go 'off grid' while out to dinner or in the pub.
We need to be contactable for family or work reasons, and rather than sit at home waiting for a call which may or may not happen, it's preferable to get out of the house with friends and deal with such calls if and when they arise.
Now, the reason I imagine that this ban was introduced was because phones have become a problem and I agree that there's nothing worse than sitting beside someone booming into their phone, deep in conversation. Many people seem to have no idea of etiquette or manners when it comes to mobile phones, and will take a call anytime, anywhere, regardless of the interruption to others.
If we all showed a bit more consideration for others, then perhaps an official ban wouldn't be needed.