Silence. A common thing we observe during meal time with family. With everyone looking down on their mobile phone, either aimlessly scrolling through Facebook feed, Instagram feed or playing games; we somehow forgot that we were seated at the dining table with our family. We forgot how to converse in real life.
If you are having the same situation and is getting a little frustrated with the lack of communications among family and friends, here’s 5 things you can do to change this.
1 – Turn off Wifi at home
With just 3GB of data a month, everyone tries to tap onto exisitng Wifi whenever available so they can continue surfing. Turn off all wifi connection at home or at the dining place and everyone may just give up instead. Perhaps restaurants and cafes which provide Wifi access can switch it off too during meal times to encourage their customers to truely enjoy their dining experience.
2 – Leave your powerbank at home
By 3pm, we would have consumed more than 60% yo 70% of our battery life. Do not charge the phone and when you hit that last 20% during dinner time, you’ll want to conserve whatever battery left for the journey back home.
3 – Dine at an ulu location, with bad reception.
This way no one gets to do anything much on their mobile phones. So everyone will focus on catching up and enjoying their food for real, instead of eating cold food after all the stand-on-chair-take-photo-and-post-on-instagram actions.
4 – Switch it off
This one takes self discipline and probably one of the hardest for anyone to do. Even in planes during take-off or landing, all mobile devices should be turned off, but there are still a handful who needed a few reminders from the air stewardes before they turned their phones off.
And if all else fails, attempt with the finaly method.
5 – Lock up all phones before meal time
That’s exactly what we did at our recent team lunch at one of our house. To test the effectiveness of a gathering without our phones (and all of us being the social media addicts) we had all our phones locked up before we started our yummy buffet lunch from Neo Garden. When the box was revealed, everyone were boo-ing and rather relunctant to part with their precious phones. With the no-phone-can-eat rule, everyone took out their phones and put them into the box.
Throughout the 50 minutes or so, we could hear phones ringing, messages coming in and other notifications. And surprisingly no one really was paying attention to the phones (except me lah cos I needed to be the “obeserver mah”). Instead every single one of us were chatting, catching up and enjoying the buffet spread. It was one of the best gathering I had for a long time.
I hope this experiment showed everyone present that day that we can be better connected if we choose to. We should go offline more often and stay connected in real life instead.
Hope the above 5 tips will help more families and gatherings be a more lively and fun one.
Here’s a flashback of the scary experiment we did that day…