Anthropology in Practice

Anthropology in Practice

Exploring the human condition.

How Do We Wait?


There was a wait for tables at the restaurant S and I went to on Saturday. Here's a look at how people passed the time. You may notice a similarity (sorry the pictures are a little dark):

Very few people were "just" talking—without their phone in their hand (and in one case, an iPad). Instead, people would view media (e.g., a video, a game) on a device and offer commentary. Or they were texting (and updating the group about the message). Or they were updating a Facebook status. Or taking a photo.

These scenes are definitely not anomalous. What are you seeing? Send your pictures of people waiting and using technology as a means to pass the time to comments[at] and I'll share them here on AiP.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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