TECH

Ikea, You Tried

:(

Food and phones shouldn't mix.

Ikea knows this. It's introducing a new place mat this fall that will conceal your smartphone in a little pocket. The product is part of the Sittning collection -- which celebrates "the joys of sharing a meal with those you love" -- and seems like a reasonable enough solution to a very real problem: the constant urge to pull our phones out at the dinner table to answer texts, tweets, emails, Snapchats, Yik Yaks, Instagrams, whats-a-doodles, et cetera.

It might also stop you from splashing marinara sauce on your device.

Here's the problem: While we welcome any opportunity to minimize time spent brainlessly tapping away at our phones to the detriment of those around us, the place mat looks like it's pretty worthless. You can see your screen through the cheap fabric. And looking down at your notifications is a huge distraction, probably just as bad as interrupting your friend mid-sentence to have a full-blown phone conversation with your mom. 

Listen: We know there's a problem here. Commercials for sad, deflated bake-at-home pizzas have started reminding us that we are all basically phone-zombies that care more about notifications than our fellow man. But maybe a better solution is to, uh, turn off your phone at the dinner table and put it in a drawer or something -- which means you can fill the Ikea place mat pouch with delicious hidden snacks, or those small booze bottles they serve on airplanes. Just spitballin'.

Ikea's U.S. branch did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post, but the U.K. branch -- which we mistakenly contacted first, due to our overwhelming emotional response to this place mat -- said it will cost £1.30 (about $2).

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