Taco Bell Previews the Dark Future of Public Dining

According to Nation's Restaurant News, Taco Bell "will add an in-store entertainment network and free Wi-Fi at all of its more than 5,600 U.S.
locations by 2015."

This puts the restaurant in the mix with other in-store "entertainment" network providers including Hooters, Applebee's, Chili's, and some Jack in the Box and Wendy's franchises.

It also raises a question: Will there come a day when audible TV screens become a feature of dining across the board, from fast food to sports bars to hotel restaurants to fine dining locations? If NBA basketball and Ke$ha videos work at Jack in the Box or Hooters, why shouldn't Wagner's Ring Cycle or cricket matches work at Per Se or Masa? Public tolerance of yakking can only rise as eight-year-olds tote smartphones and video entertainment becomes increasingly intrinsic to education.

The follow-up question: Would such a TV screen explosion at restaurants in general be the end of civilization, or merely the beginning of a new one?

Image source: Flickr member erikmarcus under Creative Commons