Sitting in a hotel restaurant and watching all us travellers coming down for dinner because we don’t want to eat in our rooms and then being seated at individual tables – where we can “see” each other and yet we don’t talk to each other – it doesn’t “feel” right. So we grab our technology and keep ourselves busy while we buy our individual glasses of wine, order our meals and make small chat to the very engaging waiter.
This experience has me thinking about the value of a “communal dining table” – you choose to sit at it and you can even choose to buy a bottle of wine to share and engage in a conversation with real people instead of “virtual” people.
Now, I have a preference for extraversion so I may be biased – I am sure many people with a preference for introversion couldn’t think of anything worse – and that’s OK they wouldn’t choose to sit at the communal table.
Then of course as I realised while chatting to the wonderful waiter there are the trust issues – can we sit with strangers, would we really be prepared to share the cost of a bottle of wine with a stranger – so rather than undertake such a risk we return to the safety of our virtual life and sit with our technology!! We eat our meals without being able to talk about how nice it is and we cannot verbalise what kind of day we’ve had.
Do I have the courage to interrupt these five people around me to see what they think about my idea – or do I keep it secret and just share it with my virtual friends via this blog?