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#Microblog Mondays 106: Eating Companions

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I recently learned about a phenomenon in South Korea called muk-bang, where people livestream themselves eating enormous amounts of food.  I misunderstood the idea at first because I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to see someone else chew.  But, no, it’s pretty much just watching someone else consume food.

What I thought it was, at first, was that people were turning on their camera and livestreaming their meal at the same time every night, so you could pull them on your screen while you ate your meal, and you felt as if you were eating with someone.  You know, except for the fact that they couldn’t hear you.  Which would personally make me feel even lonelier than being completely alone, but that’s just me.  And maybe for some people that is the draw, but for others, it’s just about watching someone else slurp noodles.

It made me wonder why I don’t get together for FaceTime meals with friends since we could sit in front of our computers with our respective meals and sort of feel like we’re in a restaurant with each other.  How else am I going to get dinner with Lori?

Have you ever had a FaceTime (Skype) meal with another person?  Would it appeal to you?


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1. A Father, A Daughter & A Peck In The Cheeks 11. Rain 21. Jamie
2. Tas IVFer 12. Traci York, Writer 22. Who Shot Down My Stork?
3. Lori Lavender Luz 13. Parul Thakur | Happiness & Food 23. articulation
4. Mali (A Separate Life) 14. Middle Girl 24. Shail
5. Mali (No Kidding) 15. Karen (River Run Dry) 25. Nom Nom With Naba
6. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 16. Infertile Girl 26. Cristy
7. Jess 17. Failing at Haiku 27. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
8. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 18. Virgí nia
9. Different Shores 19. Aseem, Transition of Thoughts
10. Isabelle 20. Cyn K


1 Nabanita { 09.05.16 at 5:06 am }

I don’t know, I actually don’t mind eating alone and I kind of find chatting on Skype quite exhausting but that’s just me 🙂

2 TasIVFer { 09.05.16 at 5:35 am }

It sounded like a brilliant idea. . .until I realised the only people I Skype with are in different hemispheres. Hmm.

3 Mali { 09.05.16 at 8:03 am }

I frequently have coffee/wine with my sister-in-law. We Skype in the early evening for me, and morning for her. I remember hearing about a service that brought people to the houses of those elderly who lived alone, so they could eat together, as apparently we are socialized that the simple act of sharing a meal does a lot for our mental health. I’m not sure skyping would be an effective substitute.

4 Lori Shandle-Fox { 09.05.16 at 8:37 am }

I know I’m in the minority, but I still don’t get the point of Skyping or Face Timing friends. If I were away from my own family, I could see it, but I’m fine just hearing other people’s voices. Also, I’d rather not eat and talk. I’m not a neat eater. When I was in college, my best friend Sharon and I were both in dorms during the holidays, so we lit our Hanukkah menorahs and did the prayer together over the phone together while I was in NYC and she was in Boston. That was very nice.

5 loribeth { 09.05.16 at 9:40 am }

I Skyped with my parents once on (Canadian) Thanksgiving, when my sister & her boyfriend were there, and Parents’ Neighbours’ Daughter, her husband & their baby daughter. They were just sitting down to dinner and turned the camera over to the Little Princess so I could watch her eat. It was hilarious, but also made me homesick. I could practically smell my mother’s turkey & stuffing.

6 Different Shores { 09.05.16 at 10:18 am }

I think that’s quite a nice idea, if you really want company (having Facetime meals with someone I mean, not just eating a mountain of food while people watch – that would be weird). Although personally I hate Skype and Facetime etc – far too much performance pressure. I even don’t like talking on the phone these days, now that we have texting / WhatsApp etc – it’s exhausting having forced chat. Gah sorry I must be in a Monday mood…..

7 Isabelle { 09.05.16 at 10:39 am }

I will if someone requests it, but I won’t intentionally seek it out. I am okay with eating by myself. I’d rather Facetime and focus my attention on talking.

8 Rain { 09.05.16 at 11:18 am }

When McRuger and I are apart for travel, we often video call each other. It’s the time when we usually connect as a family, so it feels right. Other than that…never thought about sharing a meal that way.

PS…Mel, my post this week is me saying goodbye to my blog. Thank you so much for bringing the IF community together! I appreciate all your work!!

9 Traci York { 09.05.16 at 11:41 am }

In theory (for me), it’s a great idea to connect with distant family and friends by Facetiming meals. But I’m self-conscious when I eat (long standing issue with teeth), and I tend to talk more than I chew, so I think the food would be more of a hindrance to a good online visit. However, our son Skypes movies with his friends who live all over, so I can see the appeal of a movie night done that way. 🙂

10 Middle Girl { 09.05.16 at 1:17 pm }

Eating while speaking . . . no.

I don’t mind eating alone. Recent surveys report that most Americans do eat alone–though the largest increases have been in breakfast and lunch. Dinner is still mostly communal but that the tide there too is turning.

Being on screen decreases any desire to eat for me.

11 Shail { 09.05.16 at 1:54 pm }

That’s a new one. I don’t think I’ll be doing it though 🙂 I’d rather eat in the company of my book.

12 Karen { 09.05.16 at 2:04 pm }

I’m surprised at how many people wouldn’t be interested in eating with a friend over Facetime; I feel similarly that it would be nearly as good as going to a restaurant and catching up, except without having to leave my house! It sounds like a great idea to me.

I do not get the whole “watch someone eat huge portions of food” part, though. Humans can be weird sometimes.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.05.16 at 3:06 pm }

I want to see you slurp noodles!

Let’s plan to have lunch together sometime soon. I’ll even comb my hair and put on pants.

14 torthúil { 09.05.16 at 4:06 pm }

Hahaha that’s funny! but like many other people here, I don’t think I’d do that. If I can actually have a meal alone (it’s a luxury for me) I’ll read a book.

15 Virginia { 09.05.16 at 5:24 pm }

It would be a bit weird for me, but one of cousins who because of his job spends a long time away from his family would facetime with them at meals and it would be like he was sharing a meal with them.

16 Cristy { 09.05.16 at 6:19 pm }

Why don’t people FaceTime for family meals? That’s a much better idea with so many benefits. I’d totally sign up for this! Start the revolution!!!!

17 Risa { 09.05.16 at 7:52 pm }

I wouldn’t want to do this all the time, but I actually would love to eat lunch over Skype with someone. It really is like being in person.

18 md { 09.06.16 at 1:34 am }

hmm.. interesting.. in theory, having a meal over skype is great, but in practice, i think it would just be inconvenient. time difference is the big thing for me, as all my family and friends live in different places. the other thing is that managing the phone/comp together with the dishes etc and the twins grabbing stuff would just be too difficult!

19 Cyn K { 09.06.16 at 10:56 am }

I’ve never used FaceTime or Skype for anything but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t start with a dining experience.

20 Ashley { 09.06.16 at 1:37 pm }

When I was living abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer I would have loved to join my family via Skype – it wasn’t a thing back then (you know, 12 years ago). I did call to chat on the holidays when I could (reliable phone service was a premium) and that was nice. Barring those circumstances, I don’t think I would want to share dinner via phone/computer. It would be distracting for one, and it wouldn’t feel like quality time because of the distraction. Not to mention the horrors of the screen freezing with a huge mouthful of food! 😛

21 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 09.06.16 at 9:01 pm }

I’m sure I’ve Facetimed with my brother when one or both of us was eating. Actually, I used to catchup on phone calls to family while I had lunch, but then I learned I tend to aspirate my food, so I had to cut out the whole talking while eating thing.

Videos of a random person eating a bunch of food would not be for me, though.

22 Jessica { 09.07.16 at 1:59 am }

No, I’m not into video Skype nor FaceTime. I wonder how people can eat a table of food, doing the same for many days, weeks and months, and remain skinny. They could be exercising a lot off camera, or secretly having an eating disorder.

23 Justine { 09.12.16 at 9:25 pm }

Late to the train here, but I would bring you to Starbucks with me. It wouldn’t be the same, but it might be better than nothing.

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