Monday, January 6, 2014

{365} Challenge: No phones at the table

First, watch this video.  It may just change your perspective on how much more you value your phone than the person sitting with you.

As I have been trying to rack my brain and come up with ways to engage more with the people around me, the one thing that is CLEARLY consuming my life is my phone.

My iPhone is always close at hand.  My kids even run to grab the phone for me if I set it down in another room and walked off.  When we go do the doctors office or somewhere else where we have to wait around, my kids immediatly ask, "Mom, can I play games on your phone?"

What am I, what are WE, teaching our kids?

I do not want my kids to become so reliant on electronic entertainment that they fail at developing meaningful relationships with REAL people around them.

First, I banned Facebook from my car.  That is difficult!  I cannot begin to tell you how hard it is NOT to pick up the phone at every stoplight and check to see if I have new notifications.  Sitting at the light for 2 minutes is so BORING.


Why is sitting in traffic 2 minutes something to get bored over?  I am pretty sure I survived just fine when I first got behind the wheel without a cell phone in my ownership.  You remember those days, right?  If you are around my age, you remember those things called pagers that let you know someone needed to talk to you, but you had no phone nearby to respond.  Great invention, America!  But I digress.

As I continue to battle my inner pull at "boredom" - I am trying to engage more with my kids while we sit in traffic.  But where is better quality time had?

At home.  At the dinner table.

You remember that thing, right?  It sits there, becoming the place where every odds and ends stack up, leaving no room for everyone to sit and enjoy their meals.  So where do we go?  We take our plates and scatter around the house and kitchen, eating alone or in front of the computer, tv, or phone.

The rare times when we clean the table off and all gather around it for a meal, the phones sit there next to us.  When there is nothing to say, we reach for the phone and play.

We are IGNORING our children.  We are IGNORING our spouses.

And just as bad, when we go out to eat, instead of having lively chatter like we would have 10 years ago, everyone sits around on their phones.  Conversations revolve around what he said on Facebook, an article that has been posted by several friends, the tweets and instagrams and us taking photos of our meals to post to this site or that.


I am so guilty of all of these things.  Are you?

Just look around you while you are out.  And if we are doing this in public, then I gather that I am not alone in doing this at home.

So, no more phones at the table.  Ever.  Meal time will be focused on discussing our days, dreams, and interests.

I challenge you to join me in focusing more on the people around the table than the people in your phone.  Let us not only engage with one another, but set a great example for our children.

I love this "new" Cell Phone Challenge.  I dare you to try it next time you are out.

The other challenges:
Day 1: Plan out meals for the month
Day 2: Give up soda for the year.
Day 3: Do not get on Facebook while driving.
Day 4: Clean and organize our game/hall closet
Day 5: Read 50 books this year.
Day 6:  No phones at the table

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