Tech Tip 3
**If you already have this rule, select another time when your family is typically all together, such as driving.**
Parents/Grandparents of Kids or Teens: We get it—meals all together as a family are rare. Rarer still are meals that are “tech free!” For the next seven days, seek to have at least four family meals together, and make them device or technology free! Turn off the TV (or even the music!) in the background, and have everyone place their phones in a basket. Make sure all of the phones are actually powered down so even the distant buzzes and pings of notifications aren’t heard. If your family is used to technology during meals, this may be difficult and awkward at first! Therefore, make a plan. Have a questions ready that everyone has to answer. For example, “what was everyone’s favorite part of today?” or even something fun like a “would you rather” question. The aim isn’t legalism, but merely to get your family used to talking again at such an important part of our everyday life!
Couples: If the majority of your in-home meals are between you and your spouse, have them be totally tech free. In other words, turn off the TV and turn your phones off and put them away. So often we can neglect the person eating with us because we are consumed with distraction! Furthermore, try this: Plan a meal out and be strategic about the restaurant. If you typically go to establishments where TVs are ever-present, select a different place to eat or even ask to eat outside on their patio if it’s available. I know personally my eyes are always drawn to a screen rather than my wife when we eat at places like these! Moreover, while at that restaurant leave your devices in the car! For the next seven days seek totally “undistracted” meal times and enjoy the fruits of tech free connection with your spouse!
Individuals: What do you do if the majority of your meals are spent eating alone? I know when I was living by myself and working I spent a lot of my lunches alone in the break room with my iPod (seems so outdated now!) feeding me the day’s sports headlines. For the next seven days, take the meal that you often eat alone and make it tech free. Put your phone away. Keep the TV off. Maybe even avoid background music. Rather than mindlessly scrolling or watching while eating, have your Bible open in front of you. Meditate on a Psalm. Specifically, during those tech free meals over a seven day period, work your way through Psalm 119. If this is already part of your rhythm, take those meals that are normally spent alone and seek to eat with others. Some of our best connections and conversations happen over meals! Again, when we remove something we create a vacuum, so seeking to fill it with something else (meditating on scripture/relational connection) is often a better “yes!”