Monday, August 08, 2011

Is There an App for that?

A fortnight ago I was sitting in Vinny Vanucchi's Little Italy in Dubuque, Iowa. Vinny's is an old-fashioned Italian restaurant/deli. You can get family-style serving, the food is good, and the atmosphere is friendly and lively without being raucous.

As we waited for our order, a group of three adults sat down at one of the nearby tables. The waiter handed them menus. In a synchronized motion, all three pulled out their smartphones, made the appropriate swiping motions (the digital sign of the cross?) then put them away (in unison) and then picked up their menus.

Were they saying grace? Is there an app for that? My son thought they were using foursquare or Twitter, announcing to the world where they were. I'd like to think that a personalized and timely table prayer was being read, and since they were in an Italian restaurant perhaps a few BVM's were included as well. I'll be the first to admit that my grasp of the modern world seems to be slipping further and further away, although I can see how this kind of ritual is a perfect fit for the digital paradigm.

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Caroline said...

How intriguing. I wonder what they were doing. I like the table prayer idea but I'm afraid your son might have found the answer.
I don't even want to imagine what banalities they flt like tweeting... Or did they simply turn off those things?
The restaurant sounds nice though.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

It was the precision and the acting in concert that was so unsettling. At least they weren't talking on them.

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