Whenever Michael Carl, the fashion market director at Vanity Fair, goes out to dinner with friends, he plays something called the “phone stack” game: Everyone places their phones in the middle of the table; whoever looks at their device before the check arrives picks up the tab.
Brandon Holley, the former editor of Lucky magazine, had trouble ditching her iPhone when she got home from work. So about six months ago, she began tossing her phone into a vintage milk tin the moment she walked in. It remains there until after dinner.
And Marc Jacobs, the fashion designer, didn’t want to sleep next to a beeping gizmo. So he banned digital devices from his bedroom, a house rule he shared with audiences during a recent screening of “Disconnect,” a film that dramatizes how technology has alienated people from one other.
As smartphones continue to burrow their way into our lives, and wearable devices like Google Glass threaten to erode our personal space even further, overtaxed users are carving out their own device-free zones with ad hoc tricks and life hacks.