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Should your smartphone really be allowed at the dinner table?

The Peak team weigh in on 21st-century dining etiquette.

YES

Phones at meal tables are fine by me. But use them sparingly – limit it to sending a quick text response or two. Mobile phones can even facilitate mealtime interactions. At a recent lunch with my colleagues, they started chatting about a Game of Thrones actor who used to act on Baywatch (Yes, we have deep conversations). I didn’t know what Jason Mamoa looked like; someone Googled his picture on the phone and – voila! I was able to put face to name, and be part of the conversation. Who says technology causes alienation? – Lynette Koh, Watches and Fashion Editor

Isn’t it better to continue dinner with peace of mind, after tending to a phone call? As long as it doesn’t take up too much time, it’s fine. – Jasmine Tay, Writer

(RELATED: Why food is the best – and worst – souvenir to bring from overseas.)

NO

Dining used to be for bonding and catching up. Now, people are glued to their phones , with family members being the worst offenders. I wish there was a device to scramble all apps, not just the wifi. – Jennifer Chen, Editor

I’m tired of dining companions who hold shared dishes hostage for the sake of feeding their Instagram accounts. Let us feast before the souffle collapses. – Denise Kok, Features Editor

Phones are at best a crutch for when the conversational ball is about to hit the ground. Heaven knows making conversation is fast on its way to becoming a lost art. It’s also scary how the younger generation have their thoughts dictated by their Facebook and Instagram feeds. If we don’t arrest this problem at one place where people commune – over food – we may as well plug our brains into the Internet and never leave our homes again. – Liao Xiangjun, Features Writer