by Theresa B. – Get free updates of new post here.
When was the last time you sat down at a dinner party and dug into the delicious food instead of instagamming it first? Becoming accustomed to being connected at the tips of our fingers is the norm in today’s age while sitting around the table. I’ve been guilty of texting my girlfriend who sat across from the SAME table where I was sitting.
The scene of the family huddled around a table where conversations should be flying and sounds of laughter fill the air, instead, it was only sounds of thumbs clicking away on the tiny screen of smartphones and eyes glued to the next tweet or Facebook post. This is something that I do not want to be a repeat offender.
As we draw closer to Christmas, we need to remember the etiquette of cell phone use in social gatherings with respect to the host, whether it is you, a loved one or a friend. When we put down the phone we feel it calling out to us with its incoming alerts and rings, but let me help you with some useful and fun ways to have a distraction-free Christmas without smartphones.
Fun Ways for a Distraction-Free Christmas
Make a Phone Deposit
Have a basket ready and placed at the front of your door with a note requesting guests to deposit their phones as they arrive. If you have a large gathering and know that there are multiple of the same type of phones (example, 10 iPhone 5) has a pad of stickies, colored stickers, or sticky charms for the guests to attach to their phones for easy distinctions. This may sound corny or silly, but it sets the tone and expectation for the evening, a distraction-free Christmas gathering that is an invitation to personally connect with one another. Even if you are a guest, make the suggestion to the host!
Schedule Periodic Checks
Giving brief moments for everyone to give into their addictions will make it easier to continue with a distraction-free evening. Think of it like a fresh air break, washroom break, a brief interlude if you will for checking your phones. A quick “Let’s break for a quick 5-minute phone check, and then onto our next hangout event…”
Have a Phone Game
The first person to check their phone outside of the break time is charged with providing a relationship building activity. If there is someone who is on the clock for work or has a last minute work emergency that needs to be dealt with can receive some grace if they had voiced it to the group. This creates accountability and understanding to the whole group so no one feels that one person is excused from engaging with the party.
Use Humor to Combat
It can get uncomfortable when you need to confront a guest at the party. Take a tactful approach and funnier route that can make an impact in a way you may not have considered. Here’s the tip: Fight fire with fire and send them a little text message along the lines of “you lose” or “tag, you’re up for charades” or a funny picture… or even better, a picture of them staring at their phone! Something that will grab their attention. A great friend with a sense of humor will chuckle and put their phone away.
Distraction-free Christmas can still happen
It’s often a relief to have the addiction out of our hands, our phone temptations out of reach and our focus is on what matters; the people and food that are around us. You may hear people asking why when they hear of a distraction-free Christmas – but when the reward of people and relationship engagement happens, no one will get offended or upset. If they do, they may not be at the right party.
Do you have any tips or ways for dealing with guests who can’t stop looking at their phones? Do you believe it should only be practiced by the host or everyone?
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