Five Ways the Internet is Ruining Our Dinner Parties


The horror begins as soon as you open the door. You recognise the floating faces of your nearest and dearest, lit up by individual floating screens.

Oh good, your guests have arrived and they’ve bought the internet with them.

In the age of the smartphone, we’ve become accustomed to connecting with endless swathes of people at touch of a screen. Sometimes it can be nice to know that you’ll never really dine alone. If, however, you are dining with actual human beings your screen should be tucked well away. Real life interactions trump internet messenger and videos of toddlers falling off slides, right?

Apparently not.

Uninvited Instagram

As the oven timer dings, phones are whipped out and guests jostle for position, all trying to capture that #perfect picture. Any small quiver of delight felt by the host, flattered to know the aesthetic boxes have been ticked, is soon replaced with shaking rage because, once again, Instagram has stolen the show. While the snappers gorge themselves on the smugness that comes with shares and likes, appetites are quashed and the bruschetta goes cold.

At this point, advocates of the science that suggests photographing our food at the beginning of a meal makes it taste better would do well to stay schtum. Frozen in some new kind of silent grace before each course, selecting filters and meticulously hashtagging each ingredient, is no way to spend an evening.

There’s wine in our wireless

But wait, what fresh hell is this? Your wine’s on wifi – the ultimate betrayal! For reasons beyond human comprehension, Kuvée have decided that wine bottles have been without touchscreen functionality and wifi access for too long. Having rectified the issue, the device has freed users and drinkers from the strenuous task of using our eyes to see how much wine is left, instead offering us digital estimate – thanks a bundle.

You might be thinking, in what world are we going to sit and peruse the internet through a bottle? But too late, your guests are already browsing.

If left alone too long there is a good chance it will join forces with other neglected-connected kitchen appliances. Like the smart fridge for example, which can, and will, send photos of the inside of your fridge to your phone. What a time to be alive.

We’ve all downloaded the perfect palette

One of the other features of the smart bottle is that it can oh-so-kindly tell you exactly what food to serve with its contents. Conversation about food ignites – interaction, at last! Hang on though, everyone’s saying the same thing.

Convinced by the internet (and the last three glasses of red) that they’ve got the gift of impeccable taste, suddenly everyone’s a wine connoisseur and opinions on Bordeaux wine are rife. Whether you’re learning how fine wines from the left and right banks of Bordeaux differ in taste, or which Bordeaux châteaux restaurants you should visit, one thing’s for sure: that ridiculous wifi bottle isn’t looking like such a bad thing after all… no longer will dinner guests provide suspiciously similar opinions, having spent the last five minutes surreptitiously studying their phones in silence.

All our food tastes the same

If we’re all reading the same online food articles, then chances are we’re all cooking from the same recipes too. Secret family recipes have been so tweaked and spiked with online tips that they no longer resemble the original dish. In fact, recipes all over the world are borrowing the most successful suggestions and slowly, our food is becoming the same.

Don’t take this one too hard, even top chefs are complaining that the internet has deprived the world’s food of that crucial spice: variety. This is not going to cause much further damage to what is already such a roaring success of an evening, but it certainly doesn’t make the future of dinner parties sparkle.

A Conversation killer

So, as conversation about food has lasted as long as a chocolate teapot in hell, it’s time to try something else. You are, course, nothing short of a saint. Your patience has not yet given out and in one last attempt to save the night from whatever else the internet can find to throw at it, you summon up all your social skills. Sidesplitting anecdotes, lightning quick wit and fascinating revelations; take that internet! Real life face-to-face interaction saves the day.

“Oh my god, have you seen this video of a bulldog skateboarding?!”

Well, at least you tried.