Fair warning: If you go to a party and there's a basket by the door demanding you leave your phone behind so you can be "more present" during the proceedings, you have every right to steal one and leave the party forever. Because much more dangerous than the trend of people using their smart phones to check Facebook at parties is the trend of people telling you what your relationship with technology should be.
These Smugness Baskets have been around for a couple years now, but they made a major push over the holiday season (especially on Facebook, because how else would you find out that it's not cool to use Facebook?).
This blog post is a perfect example of how this phone shaming is supposed to work. These hosts are concerned that...
If we didn’t draw attention to our addiction and have a call-out kindly asking everyone to be present and in the moment, we’d all get carried away and lose the day to our love, uh dependence, on technology.
We're obviously not addicted to technology if you can just cure it with passive aggressive notes. "Hey, Uncle Greg. Didn't you see the sign? Please leave your heroin in the basket by the door. I want you to be present tonight."
You're not saving Christmas anyway. If people are rude with their phones, they would have been rude without them. The same people who check their email while you're having dinner also check the score on the TV, and you didn't put your TV in the basket. These are the same people who clip their toenails in other people's bathrooms and merge without looking and brag about how much they've been going to the gym recently. People who suck are going to suck whether they're at a LAN party or an Amish Hoedown.
I'd much rather talk to somebody who's checking his e-mail on his phone than a party host who's got his head so far up his own ass he can check his own kidneys.