Eating together with technology

Sharing a meal is a special kind of social experience. We pass along salt, sauces, and side dishes. We toast and boast about how spicy we like our food. We talk about the food in front of us and when we do, we alternate talking with chewing, slurping and sipping. And of course, we occasionally check for messages on our phone or take a picture to share on social media.

For better or worse, technology, such as our smartphone, is ever more present at the dining table. However, currently, little is known about the impact of technology on the social dynamics at the dining table.

For this reason we have been working on developing the research field of Digital and Computational Commensality. In other words; eating together with technology. The first two papers sketching the outlines of this field are available now as open-access publications on Frontiers in Psychology and Frontiers in Robotics and AI.