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5 Ways to Deal With Party Guests Who Won’t Put Down Their Phones




It’s hard to think about dinner parties before the age of smartphones and social media without a bit of nostalgic wonder. Did we really all sit around tables looking at each other rather than our tiny screens? We just ate the food instead of Instagramming it first?

As we have become more accustomed to being constantly connected, the etiquette around cell phone use in social situations has relaxed, which means it’s not unheard of to invite friends over for a nice dinner, only to have them spend the evening constantly checking their phones. What’s a frustrated host to do?

Here are different ways to deal with those dinner party guests who seem more interested in screen time than face time.

So how can a frustrated host deal with the situation? Here are a few ideas.

Strategy 1: Do nothing, but don’t invite them back.


You could take the path of least resistance and just ignore the problem, but mentally add that person to your Do Not Invite list for the future.

Strategy 2: Allow a periodic communal checking of phones.

Letting everyone give in briefly to their addiction will make it easier to continue the event phone-free.

Strategy 3: Fight back, but with a sense of humor.

If you are not up for confronting a guest in front of the rest of the party, you can take the sneakier, more passive-aggressive (and funnier!) route .


Strategy 4: Ask them why.

Perhaps your guest has a good reason for being glued to her phone, like an urgent phone call she is expecting, or a last-minute work email she has to deal with. If that’s the case, asking guests why they keep looking at their phones instead of engaging with the party will either set your mind at ease somewhat or call attention to their rude behavior.

Strategy 5: Take the phones away.

Maybe politely pointing out rampant phone use doesn’t solve the problem, or several of the guests are stuck to their phones. In these cases, treating everyone like misbehaving kindergarteners is the best course of action — you take away all phones.

If none of the above works, collect everyone’s phone in a bag when they enter the party. Assure your guests that their phones are safe.

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