Have you been phubbed recently?
That’s when someone ignores you in favour of staring at their phone, or pretends to be listening when you can quite clearly see they’re scrolling through Twitter.
It is incredibly rude. This we know.
But while we can be immensely offended by someone phubbing us, we’re no strangers to being phubbing villains when something on our phone is just too enticing to ignore.
Hence the allure of tricks to get us to ditch our phones, tuck them away, and allow us to be our best, non-screen-staring selves.
You might have seen that trick that recommends everyone putting their phone in a bowl when out for a meal or have tried putting your phone face-down so you can’t see the notifications as they come in.
This is the upgrade.
Bespoke furniture specialist Grain and Frame has launched The Table Vault Dining Table – a snazzy wooden dining table that has a hidden box specifically designed to hold mobile phones.
The dining table slides open to reveal a box in the middle, which can fit up to ten phones at a time. You pop your phones in and lock the box by entering a time code.
The vault will only open once the timer has expired, so you could turn it on for the half-hour duration of a family dinner or lock your phone away for an entire weekend if you’re struggling to stick to that digital detox.
It’s slightly brutal, because obviously one person could snatch the phones of the rest of the household and lock them away for hours, but this may be the risk we have to face in order to rid ourselves of phubbing.
And really, if we can’t survive a whole dinner without checking our phones, that’s a sign we have a real problem.
Just make sure you double check the timer before you set it. The last thing you want is to intend to hide your phone for ten minutes then accidentally be without it for ten whole hours.
The creators of the table hope the vault will encourage people to have proper conversations over dinner, which is nice.
Sam Moseley, cofounder of Grain and Frame, said: ‘Eating dinner around the table is the perfect opportunity for families to spend quality time together.
‘However, with the rise of social media and technology, we know all too well that there can be quite a few distractions.
‘In fact, in the current climate, the dining table is proving to be an extremely multi-functional piece of furniture – whether it’s eating meals, a makeshift office for those working from home, a school classroom for the kids, or even piecing together the latest jigsaw.
‘By locking phones away for allocated time slots, full concentration can be applied to the task in hand throughout the day.’
So yes, you could also use the dining table as your own distraction-free desk, safe in the knowledge that you can’t while away the hours scrolling through nonsense… on your phone, at least.
We’d also recommend putting dessert in there, setting the timer to go off just as dinner ends, and treating everyone to a grand unveiling of your cake of choice. Fun.
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