At Red Zombie, we love Thanksgiving Day and the chance that it gives us to focus on gratitude and spending time with family. The holiday gives family members who live far apart an excuse to travel the extra mile and come together to celebrate. Thanksgiving festivities vary from person to person and family to family, but they typically involve eating, sharing stories, and playing or watching football together.
Unfortunately, the widespread use of smartphones nowadays makes it easy to get distracted during these family celebrations. If you’ve noticed yourself or your family members getting sucked into the world of social media, emails, and text messages, consider a couple of ideas for sidelining your phones for the holiday.
Invite family members to put them away. To set the tone for the day, welcome family members and request that they tuck their phones away for the day. Most people understand the importance of connecting with family members and will respect your reminder.
Designate tech-free zones. If you don’t want to go cold turkey with your phones (no pun intended), limit them in certain areas. For example, you could ask that no phones be taken into dining areas but allow them in the family room.
Plan other activities. It’s easy to turn to our phones when there’s nothing better to do, so make sure you have plenty of activities to keep everyone busy. You could toss around a football outside, play board games, take a walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air and burn calories, or volunteer together. These activities can help strengthen your family ties and build memories that will last for years.
Set up a “phone jail.” This is a basket or container that collects your and all of your family members’ cell phones and stores them in a safe place until all of the festivities are over. If you do choose to have a “phone jail,” remember that having a lot of phones in one place could result in some scratches. Plan ahead by using a high quality, tempered glass screen protector from Red Zombie, so you can really focus on what matters: family.
You’ll probably be surprised by how much better you’re able to bond with your family when your smartphone is out of sight. Even just preparing the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing can be a way to bridge the generation gap between your oldest and youngest family members.
It may feel funny at first to be free of your phone, but it could be just what you needed to take your holiday enjoyment up a notch.