Smartphones at the Breakfast Table?

Here's something I wonder, as I think about faithful uses of technology. I agree with Sherry Turkle (author of Alone Together) that there should be certain zones that are smartphone-free. Sacred spaces, if you will, such as the carpool line or the dinner table. Places where we are focusing on the people we are sharing physical spaces with. Places where children or other loved ones may to be able to look us in the eye.

But what about the breakfast table?

I grew up with parents who read the newspaper during breakfast. For some people, this remains an essential morning practice. Newspapers invite browsing---flipping from item to item, sharing an interesting tidbit with someone else.

How is reading on a smartphone the same or different than browsing the morning paper? You could argue that a phone is even less problematic, since you don't have this big wall of newsprint between you and your breakfast companions.

When newspapers first came out, was there a hue and cry that reading them in the presence of other people was "taking people out of the moment," or "distancing them from the people around them"?

Discuss...