Whether you’re ready for the five millionth season of Grey’s Anatomy, out for blood while watching Empire, or just hoping that you can navigate the minefield of spoilers while trying to catch up on Game of Thrones, quality TV can be as heartwarming as a cup of hot cocoa.
Primetime television became an additional family member in American households about half a century ago and we took very little time to jump from watching I Love Lucy after dinner to plopping pre-portioned food on mini tables we still call TV trays during a half hour of America’s favorite redhead.
Even though the tradition of watching a show while you eat still stands, you don’t really find frozen dinners outside the freezers of devout Weight Watchers and substitute teachers. Plus, the advents of Hulu, Netflix, smartphones, and tablets have created an anytime, anywhere atmosphere of media guzzling. So, where does that leave the TV dinner? Can we have TV lunches? Do we even need our TVs?
Our morphing social landscape is creating a space for individualism and the ever-popular “me time.” You can really eat however you want, whenever you want with Queen Elizabeth II or the cast of Downton Abbey. If you do find yourself eating alone, your smartphone can keep you company or help you avoid awkward eye contact with strangers/co-workers you don’t know very well.
Support your phone
Whether it’s simple DIY phone stands made via origami or a couple of binder clips to Miso Soup Design’s ramen bowl with a built in phone stand, you’re going to need some help propping up your phone. (https://www.cnet.com/news/anti-loneliness-ramen-bowl-invites-your-phone-to-dinner/)
Dining in public brings a certain noise level to the table and no one likes headphone wires in their food, so invest in a pair of wireless earbuds so you don’t miss a single punchline or plot twist.
Even if you have a newer, water resistant phone, getting your phone wet is never ideal. Be wary of your splash zone and safeguard your phone with a waterproof case or, at the very least, a plastic screen protector.
Eating For One
Focus on what you’re eating
Just because you’re using a smaller screen doesn’t mean the issues stemming from eating and watching TV disappear. If you’re watching a 22-minute comedy and you’ve finished your meal in the first seven minutes, you need to slow down. Television has a way of distracting us from our body’s fullness signals, so it’s important to reign in your fork.
If you’re chowing your way through a drama, watch out for those tears. They’ll add some unplanned flavor to your meal while dehydrating you and making you hungrier! Comedies are much safer calorie-wise (plus, they offer a little abdominal workout), but too much hilarity might require a self-heimlich maneuver.
Whatever you choose, make sure you relax and take comfort in the fact that you’re supporting an American tradition with a modern edge.