Musings & Threads. Bad Exposure.

Musings & Threads. Bad Exposure.

Bad Exposure: An Old School Approach to Eating Out


Dinner arrives. A moment’s hush. Click, click, click. The smart phones are whipped out and everyone at the table takes pictures of their gorgeous entrées. A thrilling moment for gastronomy and food blogging.

For those of us who go out to eat, this is a disturbing moment. It’s as if the restaurant has been transformed into an art gallery. And the pretension is similar. It’s all about show and tell, much like we did in first grade, amazing our fellow students with our precocious discovery of the ordinary. We have turned the mundane into a moment of celebrity.

Now, I enjoy eating out--providing both company and food are good. The word restaurant comes from the French “to restore,” the kind of restoration that comes from eating something pleasurable and delicious, but are we restoring anything by flashes of light and group ogling?

I beg to differ. I am there to eat! I don’t want a circus of culinary photography at the surrounding tables. It is, to say the least, distracting and annoying.

I realize that Millennials, and others of a certain age, can’t let go of their smart phones without loss of self, but can’t they talk to each other without a visual reference? I’m sure that one’s friend in Omaha can’t live another moment without seeing a sea bass on a beautifully decorated plate (it will be cold and inedible when they see it), even though they will probably never taste it (sea bass not being a major delight in Omaha).

This is a plea for a return to what jocularly used to be called civility and table talk. Put away your phones, at least for dinner;  be discreet if you must "snap" the food. Talk to each other. Have a conversation. It’s so…human.

Editor’s Note:  In a blog, we welcome various points of view – that are intelligent and presented respectfully.  Opinion pieces do not represent the collective opinion of Hummingbird. Feel free to comment!

Please note, in the spirit of full disclosure, the beautiful plate in the photograph above was taken at an East End restaurant prix fixe dinner with a smart phone, no flash, no fuss, and plenty of great conversation along with the delicious food!  All members of the dining party were 50s-60s, and just one of four was tethered by the nose to her iPhone.

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