This Hot Pot Table Forces People to Turn Off Their Cell Phones

By allowing diners to power a heating element with their cell phones, the IKEA table essentially forces them to choose between eating and tweeting.

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Jan 30 2016, 3:00pm

Photo via YouTube.

The urge to whip a cell phone out and take pictures of food is usually strongest when sitting around a communal source of fire. Trust us, we know.

And why not share rare moments of meaningful human interaction? After all, if you don't 'gram it, it never happened.

But the dark side of the smartphone is that it can ruin the vibe at dinner, not to mention seriously piss off restaurant staff.

READ: Your Smartphone Ruined My Dinner

Luckily, the good folks at IKEA Taiwan have found a way to protect the ancient tradition of communal cooking and dining while simultaneously fighting the modern habit of checking text messages and taking pictures of food during mealtime.

By allowing diners to power a heating element with their cell phones, the IKEA table essentially forces them to choose between eating and tweeting.

A recent ad posted to YouTube earlier this week depicts a family gathering for a lavish Taiwanese hot pot feast. Slowly, the heating element begins to rise out of the table. The diners quickly realize that they will have to fight the urge to take photos with their phone because otherwise they won't be able to cook their food—which, by the way, looks pretty good.

Eventually, the prisoner dilemma dynamic of their shared meal becomes clear and everybody surrenders their phones to a hole in the middle of the table.

When some of the more selfish diners pull away their phones, the heat automatically drops to a level which is not enough to cook their food. Aside from the risk of undercooked meat, the coercive nature of the table eventually succeeds in getting everyone to interact like normal humans.

There is no word yet as to whether or not this table will become available in retail stores, but it's definitely an interesting departure for the Swedish furniture giant.

That being said, the cell phone-fuelled hot pot table does not sound like it would be fun to assemble from scratch.