Can’t Put Your Phone Down During Dinner? Try Picking Up The Check.


Can't put down your smartphone during dinner? Try picking up the check.

Many people, young and old, complain about how technology is doing this or that to their lives. Writers bemoan the loss of real connections, or whatever they think people did before phones/the Internet/computers ruined everything.

Last weekend, for example, the New York Times ran three separate articles on getting away from the plague of always-on communications, as Atlantic contributor Nathan Jurgenson noted.

“In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time,” Pico Iyer wrote. “The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.”

no mobile phone signFor the past couple of days, a great example of this kind of thinking has been making its way around the Tumblr ecosystem. A San Francisco dancer named Brian ‘Lil B’ Perez and his friends came up with a game to constrain their cellphone use when they’re out having dinner.

Here are the simple rules:

Don’t Be A Di*k During Meals With Friends

The first person to crack and look at their phone picks up the check. Our (initial) purpose of the game was to get everyone off the phones free from Twitter/Facebook/texting and to encourage conversations.

Rules of the Game:

  1. The game starts after everyone has ordered.
  2. Everybody places their phone on the table face down.
  3. The first person to flip over their phone loses the game.
  4. Loser of the game pays for the bill.
  5. If the bill comes before anyone has flipped over their phone everybody is declared a winner and pays for their own meal.


That seems like about the right level of social conditioning necessary to make people think about their technology use. Not soulful wailing, but collective ribbing.

The Internet in 2011 by the numbers [Royal Pingdom]


2011 - global internet users by region

So what happened with the Internet in 2011? How many email accounts were there in the world in 2011? How many websites? How much did the most expensive domain name cost? How many photos were hosted on Facebook? How many videos were viewed to YouTube?

The website Royal Pingdom has posted answers to these questions and many more, providing a veritable smorgasbord of numbers, statistics and data about the state of the Internet in 2011.

Some of Royal Pingdom’s stats for the Internet in 2011:


  • 555 million – Number of websites (December 2011).
  • 300 million – Added websites in 2011.

Internet users

  • 2.1 billion – Internet users worldwide.
  • 922.2 million – Internet users in Asia.
  • 476.2 million – Internet users in Europe.
  • 271.1 million – Internet users in North America.
  • 215.9 million – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean

Social media

  • 800+ million – Number of users on Facebook by the end of 2011.
  • 200 million – Number of users added to Facebook during 2011.
  • 350 million – Number of Facebook users that log in to the service using their mobile phone.
  • 225 million – Number of Twitter accounts.
  • 100 million – Number of active Twitter users in 2011.
  • 18.1 million – People following Lady Gaga. Twitter’s most popular user.
  • 250 million – Number of tweets per day (October 2011).

Read the full article with all the numbers on Royal Pingdom