Have you tried eating a family meal without TV, tablets or phones?
The average American spends 9-hours every day on devices.
Sometimes it feels like screens are taking over our lives.
But there’s one simple step we can take to help change that.
Try a device free dinner:
- At least three times a week
- No devices for anyone
- Turn off notifications on said devices and put in the device basket
- No screens on at all (even the TV in the other room)
- Go around the table and each person says one thing they are grateful for
- Focus on quality of conversation more than quantity
- More veggies
Turn everything off before family meals and guess what happens?
Lots of laughter.
No one is arguing that occasionally sharing a YouTube video or showing off pictures from the day is harmful. And yet, in the digital age, it’s easy to let devices occupy more and more of our family time. As more kids and parents bring their devices to the table, we wonder if a prime opportunity to connect with family without distractions is getting lost. Past research suggests caution. One study found that parents in a fast food restaurant who were using devices spoke less to their children and their children were more likely to act out to get attention. Other research has found that even the presence of a phone on the table can hurt the quality of conversation.
So, when you have a family dinner, commit to putting devices away for those 30 minutes (or, if you have small children, the six minutes of dinner!). Turn your devices on silent. Better yet, put them somewhere where you can’t see them and where a notification won’t tempt you to check it.
Enjoy a device-free dinner as part of a healthy digital lifestyle, and make the most of family time.