After heading to Napier to enjoy the Tremains Art Deco Festival with my son on Saturday, we went to refuel at a Napier eatery.

It's always a messy affair eating with a one-year-old.

I found myself shovelling my lunch in between trying to prevent him tipping his eggs over his head.

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There was a brief respite when the server brought over a colouring book and crayons.
As he scribbled away I found myself people-watching.

And, might I say, the effort of those who dressed up for the Art Deco Festival was wonderful.

But one thing I also noticed was a table of young people nattering away while waiting for their meals. As their food arrived, their table fell silent and their cellphones were drawn from their pockets with the fluidity of a cowboy in a Wild West duel. Photos of their meals and selfies were quickly snapped.

What a new phenomenon, I thought. I see it daily on Instagram — food snaps from restaurants and the obligatory selfie that follows.

I even noticed that the factory setting on my new phone was set for a selfie rather than a photo of what is around us.

And the pose seems to come as naturally as the action. The phone tilted at a forgiving 45 degrees, the sucked-in cheeks, or duck pout as it's become known, and a doe-eyed stare with a tilt of the head.

The picture will then have a flattering filter added before it's uploaded to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Isn't it strange that from the development of technology that enables us to communicate with ease from all corners of the globe, this self-indulgent and insular habit has emerged?

Or, maybe, I just don't get it.