The Answer to Anti-Social Phone Fondling in Bars*

*Or an awkward conversation with an Apple Store “Genius” about why your iPhone smells of beer, won’t turn on and has a suspicious glass ring stain on the screen.

The Offline Glass in the brainchild of Brazilian advertising company Fischer & Friends and only stands upright when balanced on a phone therefore theoretically helping drinkers to put down their phones when socialising. A little cutout in the base of the glass sits over your phone, keeping the glass upright on the table and the designers claim that the size and shape prevent condensation from running down the side of the glass and damaging the phone. Hm… somehow I doubt this.

To me is already flawed when there’s shedloads of different phones out there. I don’t fancy walking into a bar and having the following conversation.

Me: Hi, can I have a Blue Moon and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus compatible glass?

Server: Is that the Nexus 4?

Me: No… the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Server: Ah, the Nexus One or the Nexus S?

Me: Neither! I just want a beer!

Server: I’m afraid we’re all out of Samsung glasses, can I get you an iPhone 5 glass?

At which point I will curl up on the floor and cry softly until someone brings me a tankard.

But I digress. It’s simply a PR stunt designed to making checking in on Untappd impossible keep people off social networks when they sound be social networking. In fact I’ve been doing the phones-on-the-table rule for years with friends where the phones are piled up in the centre and first to check theirs buys the next round. It’s pretty effective. We do a similar rule at house parties where you have to put your forehead on the table for the next ten minutes… that’s not much of a help in the social context, it’s just hilarious to witness.

Either way it’s a cute idea. As someone who’s lived back at home for the past year after three years of social bliss at university, having my online world with me is a lifeline but when it distracts me from my actual social life, it’s somewhat disconcerting.

So what do you think? Do you think sharing your experiences out and about “IRL” is a good thing, should what happens in the bar, stay in the bar or do you always stand, holding your pint in hand (pinky firmly placed underneath for support, of course) and find this whole discussion rather confusing?

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