Cool idea: Hearth's unplug boxes bring the mindful use of tech into the dining room

A bird’s eye view of the clouds with the word “unplug” written with an unplugged cord.

Hearth restaurant in NYC has developed a creative (and deceptively simple!) approach to prodding patrons into using technology more mindfully. We love this idea: by placing "phone boxes" on tables, they are gently encouraging guests to engage more with their meal and dining companions, and less with their devices.

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You are invited to #unplug....

Photo by Instagram user @staticclc

Chef Marco Canora told Eater

If there’s one time in the 24 hours in your day that’s a time to engage with the person you’re with, it makes sense to me that it’s around the dinner table.

The cute vintage boxes say 'Open Me' on the top, and inside is a note that says, "We’d like to invite you to unplug during your meal here at Hearth. Feel free to use this box, put your phone away, and connect with your fellow diners."

A quick search of the location tag on Instagram says that diners are delighted. Instagram user @staticclc, whose picture is above, wrote in her caption,

And open it I did. The message inside said to place all cell phones inside to enjoy a proper dinner with good conversation and unplug. Those weren't the exact words but you get the gist. And so we did and it was refreshing and liberating. So no food pics but the tasting menu here was SO good! 👌🏻🍷💕

What a beautiful idea. Maybe adapt the concept for your next dinner party or big night out? 

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