This post appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle about texting in restuarants. While I understand and appreciate the general sentiment in theory, I have to say that because of my job, I would never be able to go to any restaurant or bar that bans texting. I completely understand that using cell phones at the table, camera flashes popping at every course, or even too loud conversations at a nearby table may disrupt the ambiance, but is it really offensive to simply see someone in the dining room texting? What about single diners reading a book or magazine? Is that offensive too?
My Blackberry is often the only thing that allows me to leave the chain of my office and computer because I can respond to emails and deal with work issues without having to physically be there all night. If texting were banned, I might as well stay at the office and eat styrofoam takeout for every meal and force my family and friends to join me there because I will not be able to join them at the restaurant or bar of their choosing if texting is not permitted.
I try my best to limit time spent looking at or typing into my Blackberry, and I would dearly love it if I could completely ignore my clients and my colleagues at work until it is convenient for me to respond, but my job does not work that way. So between declining to go out at all or going out with my Blackberry, I am sorry but I am toting my Blackberry so that I can dine out and not get fired.