Seat us in the non-angry birds section, please!

January 29, 2012 16:10 – 16:10

If you’re going to bring your electronic toys and games into a restaurant, then either use headphones, or mute the sound. Subjecting other diners to your noise–yes, noise–is nothing short of inconsiderate and rude. Your children might not know any better–but YOU should. And, it’s up to YOU to teach them manners and consideration–preferably by example.

On multiple occasions in recent weeks, we’ve been treated to a cacophony of irritating noises from electronic toys and games while attempting to enjoy dining out. Increasingly, parents are using these devices, because their spawn require entertainment every waking moment. But, it’s not just the kids—it’s others, as well.

We lunched at Thai Square today. About halfway through our meal, a young family came in, toting electronics. The father had a Kindle (quiet enough) and the 7 year old boy had an iPad, the latter which was blasting a number of different noises as the little darling ran through a long dist of disturbingly loud games, including one that just made a long series of farting noises—I kid you not. I can’t fathom how the parents could just tune out the noise. As a society, we DEPEND upon parents themselves being annoyed by their own kids’ public disturbances so that they can practice this thing we’ve come to call “parenting.”

We asked to have our remaining food boxed. As we departed, I suggested to the clueless parents that earphones would be a courteous investment. From their reaction, I’m pretty sure that I’m the villain, and the kid’s right to practice the art of public noise pollution has been reinforced.

For the longest time, we’ve been plagued by people who insist on yelling into their cell phones, turning what should be private conversations into annoying public displays. To this, we now must add angry birds and the like. Young, old, and in-between seem to have been absent those days when they were supposed to be learning about basic consideration.

I can understand that you or your children might need constant entertainment. But, please! They’re called “personal” electronic devices for a reason. Use headphones (and not the kind that leak noise) or mute the damn device. Don’t make the rest of us start having to carrying jammers or limited range EMP devices.

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