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FROM THIS EPISODE

Halfway through a dinner party celebrating New Year's Eve, I felt a buzz in my pocket. Someone had sent me an email. "I'll just leave the phone on vibrate mode," I say to myself, as if that will make it less intrusive. The only result of that silly evasion is that it buzzes, insistently, in my pocket every time an email or text message comes in, giving me a distracted and slightly stressed-out air which my dining companions find both unattractive and baffling. It would be a lot more honestly and forthrightly rude – which is why I don't do it – to just put the thing on the table and check it incessantlly...

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