It was a splendid night away with dear friends, which brought me to a Thai restaurant for a meal out. As we sat chatting at the end of the meal, the voyeur in me was busy observing the next table over. A family of four were out for a Saturday evening meal, two parents with their two school aged children. Mom spent nearly the entire time meal on her phone, pursuing Facebook aimlessly sifting through emails and rarely taking a moment to interact with her family. Of course for much of the dinner, they were too busy to speak with since they had their own hand held game systems and dad had a phone too. It made me incredibly sad. For me the family meal is vitally important even though my family struggles through it everyday . We are constantly trying to get our littlest one to remain in her seat. I sympathize with how tricky it can be to take children out to eat and can see how the use of a game system or smart phone from time to time can be helpful. I especially can see its use when you are in a situation where the children have to sit for too long. Technology is such a gift and I have so enjoyed all the ways it has improved my life, but I worry at what cost to the family structure.