Always on iPhone
Young people spoke to me enthusiastically about the good things that flow from a life lived by the rule of three, which you can follow not only during meals but all the time. First of all,
1. There is the magic of the always available elsewhere. You can put your attention wherever you want it to be.
2. You can always be heard.
3. You never have to be bored.
When you sense that a lull in the conversation is coming, you can shift your attention from the people in the room to the world you can find on your phone. But the students also described a sense of loss.
-- Sherry Turkle
I've studied schools, universities and workplaces. When college students explain to me how dividing their attention plays out in the dining hall, some refer to a "rule of three." In a conversation among five or six people at dinner, you have to check that three people are paying attention -- heads up -- before you give yourself permission to look down at your phone. So conversation proceeds, but with different people having their heads up at different times.