Scanning social media at the dinner table often obstructs eye contact and conversation, but IKEA Taiwan has found a way to force an entire family to put their phones down — with a hot pot table powered by mobile phones!
IKEA invited a family to test out their phone-less table. Presented with delicious food, the diners did not hesitate when the waiter said “I need all of you to show me your phones.” In fact, some were already tapping away at their touchscreens.
To their surprise, they were instructed to put their phones underneath the hot pot, which rises from the table. Each time someone placed a phone down, the heat level rose.
Initially they were enchanted by the power of their cellphones and the delicious brewing hot soup. But as messages flowed in, they began to feel antsy, reaching for their phones.
The beauty of the table is that every time you remove a phone, the power goes down. So anyone who takes his or her phone back jeopardizes the meal.
Over time, however, individuals began to realize how much closer they felt once they began to interact. One woman even pointed out that she could savor every bite of her food better than when she was distracted by social media.
So, are you going to rush out and pick up one of these babies from IKEA when it’s released? Is it anything more than just a novelty? What if you just want to enjoy a hot pot meal by yourself? Or, do you think social media can actually stimulate a dinner conversation?
Watch the family’s experience here and judge for yourself:
By Eugenia Xiao
[Images via IKEA]