Anyone who owns a smartphone knows these devices are amazing. Throughout the day, it's easy to pull out your phone for a variety of uses. I finally got a smartphone myself — caving to my husband's offer to get me one once we moved to the city. It has helped me when I've gotten lost driving more times then I'd like to admit. I like my phone, and not just because it helps me with directions.

But are they too intrusive? I have read several articles dealing with parents who look at their phones instead of engaging with their children at the park, of couples checking Facebook within minutes of making love, and others warning that we aren't experiencing life to the fullest because we're tweeting, Instagraming and updating our status online instead of simply living.

One way smartphones have woven their way into our lives is their cool ability to take photos. It's pretty handy to have a good camera on your phone, and this parent knows that I have caught many moments with my children that I would have missed. Another way we use these devices is to take photos of our food and share them. (I can't act all offended and self-righteous about those who do with, because if you look at my husband's Facebook page, you'll find pictures of food from our last date, and my Instagram feed shows a photo of food from a recent daughter/mommy date.)

Yet, I'm really torn about this use of smartphone cameras. It has been fun to share things on Instagram. Photos shared online sometimes provide fodder for conversation, which has been really fun. I like talking about food and sharing links about food, so it's natural to enjoy sharing these type of photos. However, there are moments when people should be solely concentrating on good food and their relationships. In those moments, taking the time (however short it may be) to take photos and share them online can be an unnecessary distraction and disturb the flow of conversation. That's one of the reasons this restaurant gives a 5 percent discount to those willing to leave their phones at the front desk. The hope is that this will allow people to connect again — something that used to be the primary goal of eating out together.

With that in mind, watch this amusing, and thought-provoking video:

MNN tease photo: sfegette/Flickr

Does your smartphone ruin your food and fellowship?
Is your smartphone ruining your dinner? This video pokes at our tendency to take pictures of food, while a restaurant rewards those who don't bring their phone.