How 'The Phone Stack' is civilizing dinners out with friends

The Week

Tired of cell phones interrupting every meal? A clever new game poses a solution

Don't you hate it when a nice meal with friends is constantly interrupted by beeping iPhones and Androids? Well, a buzzy new game called "The Phone Stack" offers an amusing solution. Here's how it works:

What is "The Phone Stack"?
Also known as "Don't Be A Di*k During Meals With Friends," the game tries to curb cell phone interruptions when dining out with pals. After everyone orders, they place their phones in the center of the table, face down. They may even stack the gadgets, as the name suggests. Even as the phones buzz and ring throughout the meal, no one is allowed to grab his device. If someone is unable to resist his smartphone's siren's song, he's responsible for picking up the check.

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Who came up with the idea?
A 20-year-old named Stephie, who lives in California, is getting the credit. "I recommend not being such a stickler or hardass on people about the rules and even initiation of the game," she says on her blog. "Basic premise is to just get people open to the idea of staying active and attentive to one another. But if someone has to take a call; they have to take a call =)."

And people like "The Phone Stack"?
It's "brilliant," says Dave McGinn at Canada's Globe and Mail. And it's really striking a chord with people. Yeah, it "sounds like the ultimate in dining/phone etiquette," says Elie Ayrouth at Foodbeast. It might just be one of the "coolest" pieces "of socially engineered live gaming I have ever heard of." As you play, you just have to ask yourself, "Is that text message worth the cost of everyone else’s dinner?"

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Sources: Foodbeast, Globe and Mail, Stephie Luv Tumblr,

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