Guess what: you can freely use your phone on dates now! It’s totally OK. Just look around: everywhere, couples at lunch, dinner, and Taco Bell’s newest mealtime designation can be seen with iPhones and Galaxy S-Whatsits laid out on the table, giving off the impression that they have little more than a comprehensive data plan in common. Call it mutually assured distraction. And we’re at the point where everyone’s OK with it.
Of course, these cellular telephones can be damn helpful on dates. How should we get there? Google Maps. Who's that guy in that thing? IMDB. (It was Bill Fichtner, wasn’t it?) How do you want to split this? Venmo. Do you have anything to drink at your place? Uber.
But if everybody's using their phones, the way stand out is to... not. It's a dating pool, right? And the pool is lousy with other fish all perfectly comfortable floating through encounters, cellphones in hand. Then, along swims this shark, and sharks don’t use phones, and people are like, "DAMN, look at that shark. That shark really caught my eye. It’s not even using a phone! And also it’s a shark, but still."
I used to date a woman who was kind of short, and whose top bookcases were conspicuously empty. Whenever I walked in, I'd place my phone on the highest shelf where even 6ft 2in me couldn’t see it, and leave it there for the rest of the night, on silent. Now, I'm not saying this action alone translated directly into fornication. But it worked; she certainly noticed the gesture and figured I was a nicer guy for it. And then: fornication!