Tech Spec: The Phone Stacking Game

Phone stacking can mean an empty wallet for those wired to technology. Photo by Courtland Jeffrey.

In my free time, I like to browse the image-sharing site Imgur. Awhile back, I came across a photo that has been floating through the web. This image has become widely popular and has sparked a trend. The image below contains instructions for a game, the phone stacking game.

The game is fairly simple: everyone puts their phones in a pile on the middle of the table, and the first person to touch their phone pays the bill for everyone. If no one touches his or her phone, the bill gets split evenly.

Upon reading this, I decided that I must try it for myself. I decided to use three of my friends as we went out to get some Thai food. I told them that I would I would be using them for an experiment, but I did not explain what the circumstances were until we sat down at our table.

Everyone was game, so as we picked up our menus we separated ourselves from our phones. When we began, it was difficult; one of my friends had to be off at certain time and she was relying on her phone to be her watch. I planned ahead and wore a watch so there would be no reason to touch their phone other than to lose the game and check their notifications.

The dinner was great. We had enjoyable conversation, delicious food and even ran into another friend, all while weaning ourselves from the habit of checking our phones. I do not know about my friends, but I definitely reached for my phone pocket once in the dinner. This habitual movement would have led to my demise in the game if we kept our phones in our pockets.

By the end of the dinner, no one had picked up their phones, even though a couple received notifications during the meal (including myself). This game brought a huge problem to my eyes.

The game can spice up a trip to a restaurant. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Witteveen .

People are too hooked to their phones. I am addicted to my phone. Instead of just allowing the conversation to calmly flow and enjoy the presence of my friends, I wanted to fill every lull in the conversation with Facebook updates and email organization. This dinner forced to me to let that go and live life, rather than tweet about it.

If you or someone you know takes quite a liking to their electronics, try out this game. It turns a fun dinner into an awesome dinner (and it may even bring someone’s technology issues to light).


If you have any cool additional rules or know of other fun games that are similar, message me on Twitter @Court_Jeffrey or via email at Have a good dinner!

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