" Man is a social animal ", Aristotle is supposed to have said. if he said that on seeing the men of ancient athens, i wonder what he would have said now, when mankind has become more social than ever.
the entire world today has an obsessive compulsive need to be social, and that, at the speed of light (or at the speed of our various Gs or LTEs, to be precise...) - which is why, we end up seeing news like this ,where restaurants end up offering carrots to their customers.
in today's world of social networking powered by smart devices, a simple activity like going out to dinner with friends is not so simple anymore. read on, and am sure you'll agree how much it has changed.
Dining out, Before Social Media & Smart phones :
- call friends and fix up a date and time.
- decide on a place based on past experience or suggestions from others.
- go,have dinner, and have a good time talking and chatting with each other.
- come back home and sleep.
thats all there was to do. pretty much.
Dining out, After Social Media & Smart phones :
- call, mail or text friends to fix up a date and time to meet. update google calendar.
- google for places to eat, read reviews on yelp, look for coupons from deal sites and finalise a place.
- a couple of hours before the dinner, tweet that you are so excited and cannot wait to have dinner with your friends.
- on reaching the restaurant, check-in on the location at facebook.
- also check-in on foursquare.
- order food.
- 15-20 mins after ordering, tweet how long its been since you placed the order and you are still waiting for it.
- once the food arrives, take pictures of it and post it to your instagram feed.
- take unflattering pictures of your friends when they are eating or drinking, post them to facebook, and tag them without fail.
- someone gets a doubt about how many calories their main course has, so you try and find an app that lists the calories of popular restaurant menu items.
- a sizeable portion of your dinner conversation involves smart phones,tablets and their operating systems.
- when the bill arrives and you have to work out the tip, use the calculator on your phone to calculate 15% of 150. (no, its not 15.)
- come back home and post a review of the restaurant on yelp.
- rate the calorie finder app which you used during the meal.
- ask an intelligent question in quora, like "do restaurants follow best practices to ensure the consistency of the nutritional value across every meal ?" (remember, its quora. you have to sound intelligent.)
- set the alarm on your phone and go to bed after a highly satisfying and socially productive day.
p.s : you could also do a whole other bunch of stuff like blogging about it, posting your food pictures to flickr or picasa or G+, pinning your favourite food or restaurants to pinterest, and so on. how much social is too much social, is entirely upto each one to decide ! and btw, in the middle of doing all this, i hope people remember to eat their food too !