Pope Francis is on a mission to stop people from using smartphones at the dinner table. He says that the dinner table is where families experience a sense of “togetherness”, and using a smartphone while eating is extremely damaging to family life.
The Pope said, “A family that almost never eats together, or that never speaks at the table but looks at the television or the smartphone, is hardly a family. When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family."
Despite previous outcries from the Pope for families to come together, his words have had little effect. In August, the Pope stated that using the internet and smartphone and watching TV is distracting attention away from the things that are most important.
Also, in January, he said that sitting at the table for the family dinner and sharing daily experiences represents a fundamental image of both solidarity and togetherness.
However, these experiences are supposedly being damaged by the modern technology of today. While the Pope admits that modern technology can help families who are separated keep together, families that are in direct proximity with one another often fail to talk to each other. Instead, they simply generate and consume information on social media.
The Pope has largely directed this issue on meals because he says that Jesus made a strong point of sharing meals with his friends. According to religious experts, Jesus typically used mealtimes to share spiritual testament with his disciples. Additionally, the most famous image of Jesus at the Last Supper, shows the religious figure sharing a meal with his closest friends.
Of course, nobody was using a smartphone in the Last Supper portrait, most likely because they didn’t exist. Perhaps Jesus and his disciples would have been using their mobile devices if the scene took place in today’s times.