The common greeting, “Let’s eat together sometime” means that dining is more than just eatingameal.However, the fact that single households increase to 4 million means there are newgenderation of people beginning to eat meals alone. People who are tired of eating alone are starting to step out of their homes and saying “Shall we eat together?”
What is social dining?
Social dining means people with similar interests meet online through Social Networking Sites (SNS) and they eat together. This idea originated from ancient Greek’s dining culture “Simposion,” and it is part of both American and European party culture and become a common social trend. Domestically, “Zip bop” first started its service in 2012.
Background of Social Dining
1) Single household dwellings are growing, so many people eat alone.
2) People who are pressured with their busy life while eating instant food alone united through the theme of healthy eating.
3) Recently, words like “Honbapjok” (university students who eat meal alone) have emerged. These students have difficulty forming relationships because of a lack of practice due to constant studying.
4) The growth of social dining is due to the loneliness of modern people coming from a changing population structure. People are now accustomed to living alone; however their human environment makes them want to socialize with other people. This is expressed as social dining.
Trend of social dining
Social dining, common at foreign countries
In Korea, social dining have been spread lately but in foreign cultures it is quite common. A notable example is “restaurant day” in Helsinki, Finland. This event has a host who suddenly opens a restaurant anywhere to allow parcitipants to use their own recipes. Another example is Munchery which is a popular food sharing service company in San Francisco. This service is good for singles who have difficulty in making dishes or cooking. Also, people who skip a meal due to work can meet and order from a menu on Munchery’s website or smartphone application. Their order is connected with people who will cook for them and deliver the food. People who meet on Munchery have a responsibility for their menu and try not to leave food behind.
tvN drama ‘Let’s eat’
Recently, there is a drama about social dining. This drama produced by tvN and aired 16 episodes that begin with proposition that eating has more than just eating. This drama which fills their appetite for a basic human relationship pays attention to eating with other people.
At Zipbob, there are over 20 thousands social dining group in over 16 regions, including Seoul, Daejeon and Busan. It just started its service a year ago. However, Zipbop has lead the social dining craze. If a specific meeting is popular and members demand an encore, it will become a continuous meeting. You can easily search for dining groups with the Zipbop app and also get a notification when a group is eating in a nearby area.
Social dining etiquette
1. Making a reservation is essential.
2. Don’t be late.
3. Don’t advertise commercial products.
4. Actively Participate in conversation.
5. You are free to express your interest in the opposite sex but don’t harass them.
Daegu Social Dining “Moduyum”
Moduyum started in Daegu and held its first meeting in July this year. Its 5th meeting was recently held. Meetings are hosted in many forms of social dining like watching a performance at the Dreaming Theater and eating chicken & beer for example.
I participated in Moduyum’s 5th meeting. It was held at a guest house called ‘The style’ which is located in Jung-gu, Daegu. The format of this meeting was a study group. Moduyum’s main participants are their thirties. Therefore, they mainly talked about not only their social life, but also about business during the dinner. However, when they have meetings which are study group themed, they may not dine. At that meeting, the study class was about the basics of Prezi. During the class, there was a little awkward atmosphere. However, during the break time, participants started casual conversations. They had already met in previous meetings, so they knew each other. After I experienced one format of social dining, it was novel experience. It was hard to become intimate with other people while doing something. Unfortunately, this meeting’s format was a study group, so the meeting was pressed for time and had little chance for conversation.
While social dining which still in its infancy, it will improve in the future. This means that you will have more ways to meet and communicate with new people. Accordingly, you will have more chances to form social relationships. What are you doing right now? Are you surfing the web alone? Are you on Facebook with your smartphone in your gloomy room? If so, why not go outside and meet new people?
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