Independent bar and restaurant company, Graffiti Spirits, has devised a ‘No Phones Just Friends’ rule for 81 Ltd – the ‘by appointment only’ prohibition bar in Liverpool. On specific days, guests have to hand over their smart devices to a bartender, who will safely store it in a box whilst its owner truly lives in the moment, rather than just recording it.
There’s no denying that mobile phones have aided communication in ways we couldn’t have imagined a couple of decades ago. However, according to recent research*, the addictive, excessive habits we’ve developed are impacting the ways in which we interact with one another face-to-face. Whether its ignoring our lunch date as we refresh Instagram, or endlessly scrolling through Twitter whilst on a night-out with friends, ‘social’ media is making us decidedly anti-social. Co-Founder of Graffiti Spirits, Matt Farrell, wants to do something about it.
Matt comments: “The issue of mobile phones infiltrating our social spaces has become an epidemic, but people are also starting to become aware of it and are taking steps to claim their time back”.
“Going for a drink with someone should be an intimate, sociable experience. We want guests to enjoy the atmosphere and each other’s company. We already have a ‘no photographs’ policy, so as to uphold the air of mystery and exclusivity for which 81 is renowned.”
He continues: “Discouraging mobile phone usage altogether felt like a natural progression and in line with 81’s ethos. Of course, social media is a useful tool for marketing and can be great when used in moderation. However, it’s beneficial to step away, escape and unwind every now and again. Nothing beats face-to-face conversation, eye contact and a great cocktail.”
81 Ltd. are trialling ‘No Phones Just Friends’ on Thursdays and Sundays. To find out more about 81 Ltd. visit: http://81ltd.com.