481px-Fork_&_knife-1.svgEating out is fairly commonplace for most people — especially college students who would prefer to stop by Subway than cook their own meal. However, going to a proper sit-down restaurant with a group of people, no matter the age, has become such a chore. Let’s run through the series of events that happens when having a night out:

The Ride There
This part usually entails an Uber if drinking was, or will be, involved — if not, then someone will be driving. Regardless, this will be the part of the trip where everyone tells stories and reminisces about their past experiences together. A lot of gossip and a lot of laughing; probably the most fun part of the entire experience.

Getting Settled
Once at the restaurant and seated, everyone starts to ask, “What’s good here? What are you ordering?” The group scans the menu for about 20 seconds before everyone pulls out their phones. Sort of like a pre-meal update, everyone runs through their social media and replies to text messages. It’s as if taking a 15-minute car ride without checking your phone is the end of the world. Conversations start to get passive and everyone is clearly trying to be in two places at once. Oh, and let’s not forget the respectful friend that does not pick up their phone but gets left in silence as everyone checks theirs. And there’s also the other friend that talks shit about every picture she sees on Instagram.

Ordering Food
After the waiter has come by about four times, someone will finally mention that they’re hungry. About 10 to 15 minutes have passed since the group sat down, and at this point, everyone realizes that they are hungry as well. It takes another 10 minutes for everyone to decide on an order. However, this is the part where the group must wait for the waiter. Since we asked him to “give us a few more minutes,” he’s going to be a while. Once he finally comes around, it takes another 10 minutes for him to write down the complicated orders and requests.

Pre-Meal Anxiety
If the group hasn’t already broken off into mini groups, it will at this point. The various conversations will occasionally crisscross, but there are clear subgroups in the main group. People will still be checking their phones occasionally, and the worst part happens when the food takes too long and people start getting antsy. The instigator will openly express their anger towards the wait time and the group mentality will agree.

Food Delivery, Jizz-Level Excitement
FOOD! Like, oh my gooch, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Except that’s not our food, it belongs to the table next to us. But then the glimmer of Jesus shines through because our food is following shortly behind. Once the orders have been distributed, everyone has to take pictures for Instagram. And since you’re on the phone, everyone might as well check social media again. Finally, after 73 filters and 46 likes, we can dig in. There’s a short exchange of food between everyone since, “Oh my gosh, this tastes so good. You have to try it!” Then everyone settles into his or her meal. Conversation here is minimal, since enjoying the food is top priority (although everyone is thinking about whether or not they got more than 100 likes on Insta).

Post-Meal Lethargy
Eating the meal really only takes about 45 minutes, even though about an hour and a half has elapsed since sitting down. When the waiters start to clear the table, everyone gets lethargic and would rather not move. Usually the ladies will excuse themselves to the bathroom and the men will talk about some arbitrary topic over some drinks. Once everyone returns, dessert is usually ordered since it’s a special night or whatever. This is the perfect chance to check how many likes the picture you posted got! Everyone retreats to their phone before dessert arrives.

Dessert Selfies?
Once dessert comes, it’s actually the perfect time to take selfies. So before we destroy our perfectly crafted chocolate cakes, pictures must be taken with them. This takes up about 10 minutes of time, and then the waiter still needs to be asked to take a group picture. Then, and only then, can everyone enjoy their desserts and call it a night. Everyone pays for their meal and someone calls an Uber to pick up the group.
If this is not how your typical night out goes, then I applaud you for having a very good group of friends. However, for most people, this is how the night plays out. Although everyone is together and hanging out, life has come to revolve around phones and communication with people who aren’t in front of you, creating passive conversations and disconnect from the now.
In the past, going to eat at a restaurant would take approximately an hour. Now, eating out can take well over two hours. This makes an enjoyable event seem like a chore based on the time commitment alone. Games have been created to keep people off their phones when in groups, but our social norm has come to revolve around phones. I’m preaching to the choir here; I’m constantly on my phone, but just remember to enjoy the present when you’re with your people. Put that shit on silent!

Ben Nguyen is hoping his selfie with this article published on DailyNexus.com will get at least two-hundy likes #realtalk #BenNguyen #scandal