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79 percent say that technology improves their restaurant experience

Technically Incorrect: A new study says tech helps dining. Of course, taking a picture of your meal and posting it to Instagram improves the flavor.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

They're posing for Instagram.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You're out to dinner with your loved one.

You look around and what do you see?

Adoring couples sitting opposite each other and staring intently into their phones.

Don't worry, most people think technology improves their dining experience.

I know this from a new survey that presents the edifying views of 1,115 diners.

The survey was performed between July 27 and August 26 by a company called Toast. Stunningly, this is a restaurant technology platform.

When you delve deeper into the smorgasbord of answers, you see that diners think tech is most useful in fast-food restaurants.

Indeed, a mere 8 percent said it improved a fine-dining experience. Still, famed New York restaurateur Danny Meyer hasn't been deterred from introducing the Apple watch into his restaurants, both fine-dining and slightly coarser dining.

For diners, the two most important technological steps forward in restaurants are, the survey says, online reservations and Wi-Fi.

This makes sense. It used to be tiresome to call a restaurant, get a voicemail and never get a call back.

And why do customers need Wi-Fi? Oh, to post pictures of their meals to Instagram instantly.

Of course.

I'm comforted that as many as 60 percent of people still claim the most important part of the restaurant experience is the food. Until, that is, I realize that 40 percent of people don't think the food is the most important.

Then again, 21 percent said it was the service. Then again again, a mere 4 percent said it was the ambiance.

Romance is dead and phones may have killed it.

Atmosphere, you see, is right inside your gadget. No need for the outside world.

Ultimately, the restaurant business is hard. One bad experience can turn a customer away forever. So restaurants are effectively using platforms such as Open Table and even iPads for servers to make the experience smoother.

Still, I can't help thinking this survey didn't address the true threat to the dining experience: people aren't talking to each other in restaurants anymore.

A couple of weeks ago, I witnessed a husband with his earpiece in, watching something on his phone rather than talking to his wife.

For the whole meal.

I saw two people sitting opposite each other staring lovingly into their phones throughout a four-course meal.

They took separate pictures of their dishes. No doubt they posted them to Instagram and monitored how many likes they got.

One of the results of this is sometimes less warmth and laughter in restaurants than there used to be.

At my of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, La Ciccia, the owners want you to enjoy the sublime Sardinian fare rather than ignore each other.

They've always had a note on the menu asking people to put away their phones and not use any devices. (Of course, it encourages you to follow it on Facebook and Twitter, but you can do that at work, can't you?)

This year, they had to make the phone notice bigger.