How often do you sit at a table with at least 1 person on a phone? Dinner with friends suddenly becomes dinner with…yourself…
This post comes to you from contributor, Kate Mack.
Ok, people. We’re all aware that phones and digital devices are an integral part of our daily lives: wake up, reach for phone, begin a swiping frenzy that continues until lights out that night. Our attention spans are pretty threadbare, and in order to nourish your mental health, you should check yourself and your digital intake.
How often do you sit at a table and at least one person has his/her phone out? Once one phone is out, there seems to be this magnetic pull that causes everyone else to slowly and surely light up their screen. Dinner with friends becomes dinner with…yourself.
So, I am tasking you with putting together a digital-free dinner with your loved ones. Once a month, you will mark your calendar and prepare your friends for an evening of fun, food and connection (all made possible by disconnecting)!
5 Steps To Follow For Your Digital-Free Dinner
Prepare + beware: Some people may go through detachment anxiety, but you can get ahead of that if you plan the night out. Have some ideas for activities, dinner conversation points, and a meal that is ideally hands-on, so there is less down time for people to panic about what’s happening in the outside world.
Lay out the digital ground rules: I think that ripping off the band-aid is the most efficient way to handle this. When your guests arrive, open the door with an enthusiastic attitude and an explanation about why they will need to put their phones into the chosen receptacle you are holding in your hand. Everyone’s phones should be put together safely, out of their line of vision to avoid a people’s revolt.
Have an interactive meal: No, I’m not referring to VR. Choose a meal that everyone can get involved in to keep them busy and engaged. Either Include your guests in the prep work or have it ready for assembly upon arrival, with options like sushi rolls or healthy bowls. Here’s a take on a rice bowl/salad — a great, light summertime meal.
Activate your mind + body: Kick it old school and bring out the games! Board games, card games, tarot cards or even putting on a killer playlist to dance to will ramp up the energy in the room and keep everyone engaged.
The Takeaway: When your guests finally drag themselves to the door, euphoric from a night of food and laughter, hand them back their phones with a little gift that reminds them what it feels like to take some digital downtime. A journal, a book of crosswords, a puzzle, an adult coloring book — preferably something without an on/off switch.
+Check our more on going digital free here!