Recently, I have noticed an outbreak here in our community of that dreadful condition, Celluseatthetableitis. I hope you are not experiencing similar outbreaks in your area, although I have it from a good source that Celluseatthetableitis is pretty much at epidemic levels in many parts of the country, if not the world. There is no vaccine for this dreadful affliction, and should you catch it, you will eventually find your relationships with your family, friends and loved ones deteriorating rapidly (leaving you alone on Friday nights with only your cell phone and your thoughts for company).
The devastating symptoms of Celluseatthetableitis have been described as follows:
- Inability to detach your cell phone from your hand in social situations, such as the dinner table or a restaurant (this has been described by some victims as having the unpleasant sensation that their phones are "superglued" to their hands)
- Compulsively checking your cell phone every few seconds throughout the meal for text updates, email, social media updates, and the like
- Jumping or starting nervously each time the cell phone makes a piercing chirp (may sound like a baby bird), whistle, buzz or other brief noise or vibration to indicate incoming communication. This may be accompanied by sensations of panic, a fight-or-fight response, or an irregular heartbeat
- Leaving the dinner table frequently to take important calls (clearly, far more important than the actual humans you are dining with)
- Introducing your cell phone by name to your fellow diners, and asking for a place setting at the table for her/him/it
- Experiencing a total nervous breakdown if you happen to be dining in a place with poor cell phone coverage, or in a building that effectively blocks all cell phone reception
- You would have named your first child "Verizon" or "Apple" had not your spouse insisted on a family name (despite your protests that Verizon and Apple are family)
If you or anyone you know is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please take action immediately. It is imperative that you find ways to counteract the damage Celluseatthetableitis can do to your relationships. One authority I consulted on this matter recommends the following effective home remedy, to be taken immediately upon experiencing any of the above symptoms:
Take one teaspoonful of courtesy, and turn off ALL notification sounds (to include buzzing, chirping, whistling, chiming, and silent-mode-vibrating) while at the dinner table, should you REALLY need your beloved mobile companion on your person while eating. Then take one teaspoonful of common sense, and practice enjoying the company of the human beings you are actually with at the moment (one of whom probably cooked the meal before you, and who will be mortally offended if you divide your attention between her cooking and the phone). Finally, take a heaping dose of decency, and leave the doggone thing in your purse/briefcase/backpack while dining out, and under no circumstances take phone calls in the middle of a restaurant (very gauche), or sit there giggling as you text with friends while your fellow diners either a) roll their eyes or b) ask "What's so funny?" and feel left out.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Celluseatthetableitis, please know that y'all are in my prayers. And remember: it's never too late to get help! There are numerous support groups available to those suffering from this disease, so look one up in your area today.