- As technology takes over our lives, folks are finding creative ways to reconnect with each other face to face.
- Date nights, smartphone pileups, tech-free vacations and family meetings are becoming increasingly common.
- Do you or a loved one suffer from EDI (electronic display of insensitivity)?
I remember early in my career, about 30 years ago, no one dared to leave the office before the boss left. Face time was everything then and you wanted to make a good impression. I’m not talking about the FaceTime app; I’m talking about actual face time at work. Frankly, I thought that was BS at the time—still do—but now I’m seeing the value of face time in relationships with our families and friends.
Are you familiar with the term electronic display of insensitivity (EDI)? It’s what happens when people are so preoccupied with their smart devices that they’re not paying attention to you when you’re speaking to them. It’s a burgeoning problem in our society. In response, there’s been a movement over the past couple of years in which people are trying to get back control of their in-person relationships, discussions and interactions with each other—i.e., free of devices—and it starts at home.
Rebuilding device-free relationships
- Date nights. More and more couples are having date nights (or mornings) with each other in which they set aside an hour or two once a week just to communicate with each other, free from all of life’s other distractions. My wife and I have been doing this for about 10 years, and it works really well.
- Smartphone pileup. Let’s say you’re going to a restaurant with family, friends or work colleagues. Everybody agrees to stack their smartphones and other mobile devices in a pile in the middle of the table. The first person to pull their device off the pile has to pay for the meal or the drinks. Make it painful, so everybody pays attention to everybody else.
- Tech-free vacations. People are going on vacations and taking only one smartphone with them and making their children and others leave their devices behind. It’s tough at first, but after a day or two, people really start connecting with each other again.
- Family meetings. Even families with children as young as two or three are setting aside half an hour a week to have family meetings where they get together to talk about family issues. Each family has its own format and ground rules, but the idea is to reconnect and have real face time with each other and change their habits so technology’s not running their lives.
I just thought I’d share some examples of how folks are learning to reconnect and share quality time with each other in these hectic, always-wired times. I hope you and your family find these tips useful.
So until next time, enjoy. Gary
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