Vancouver bar installs cell phone lock boxes for a different kind of social networking

A Vancouver bar has installed lock boxes at its table where patrons can lock away their phones, to promote face-to-face socialization. (Facebook)

Ok, we get it. We live in an age where it is the norm for most people to be literally attached to their cell phones.

You must have witnessed it; you and your friends get together for an evening out for drinks and dinner, and at one point or another, silence. Why? Is it because no one has anything to say? NO. It’s because everyone is either texting, or sexting, or tweeting, whatever — the point is, we’ve become so conditioned to the normalcy of it all, that we forget how incredibly rude we are being.

A bar in Vancouver has come up with an idea to put an end to this shameful behavior.

Score On Davie, located in Vancouver’s downtown core, has ingeniously installed lock boxes at the tables for patrons to ditch their cell phones. This way, they aren’t glued to their screens and can actually focus on the people around them.

When everyone from your party has arrived, the bartender gives you a key to the lockbox at your table. The Province explains. Once everyone has dumped their cellphones into the box, it is locked, and the key is returned to the bartender. If someone wants their cell phone back before the group is ready to leave — maybe they’re just dying to see their latest Facebook posts, or they’re determined to hit level 52 in their Candy Crush Saga — they may ask the bartender for the key. It'll cost them, though.

The person who caves must endure some penalty — most commonly it means buying the entire table a round of drinks.

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Who remembers ‘phone stacks?’ It’s the popular bar game where everyone piles their phones in the middle of the table and whoever checks theirs first gets stuck with the bill! This lock box idea has been dubbed the 'extreme phone stack' challenge. It’s tougher when the phone is out of reach, literally locked in a box.

“Sometimes, the only ‘social network’ you need is the people in front of you,” Score said in a Facebook post.

Originally suggested by one of the Score’s servers, the cell phone lock boxes were launched in the bar on Friday.

“Everyone in the industry sees it – the group sits down, there’s six people and they’re all on their phones, texting, or instagramming their food,” said Score owner, Jesse Ritchie.

It’s embarrassing. People are forgetting how to act and even communicate with one another. Cell phones have become somewhat of a security blanket for those awkward moments when there is nothing to say.

We get it, you’ve got work, emails, and important people to stay in contact with at all times. But sometimes, you need to let it all go, even just for an hour or so, and lock away the phone, and be free.

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