Family Dinners

Filed under [ Parenting ]

NEW “Guilt-Tripping” Ad Campaign Asks Parents to Turn Off PDAs and Spend Time with Family Sans Technology

With Leor and Marc 015A new campaign, Offlining, Inc.’, an in-your-face campaign nudging us all to turn off our mobile devices and computers for a while in order to devote a little time to a good old face-to-face conversation or family dinner, was launched this past father’s day.  ‘Tappening’ environmental movement and the educational and political ‘Read to Vote’ campaign are behind this latest effort.  They are requesting that parents take a pledge to have at least ten No Device Dinners between now and Thanksgiving.  Of course implicit in this request is that Thanksgiving Day should also be a No Device Day.

The idea that we have to make this request of parents demonstrates how disconnected family members have become due to the various technological gadgets present in the average household.  While I applaud these efforts, it is rather frightening that they requested only ten days of device-free dinners between now and Thanksgiving; that’s 5 months.  Given all the findings that  children who eat with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, struggle with asthma, get depressed and have eating disorders, it would seem that either the message is not getting out there, or the addiction to these devices is out of control.

The interesting thing is that the benefit children experienced was not merely because they were eating dinner with their parents.  It turned out that the quality of their conversation was an essential factor. That is, the kids who did well didn’t just eat dinner with their families. They ate dinner with families that maintained complex conversation, rich with explanation, storytelling and more.  So, parents, you know what I recommend: Dinner with stimulating conversations with your children every night.

I want to apologize for the technical breakdown in yesterday’s blog.  It was kind of funny actually.  We posted a youtube link but instead of the link showing up, the word “blah” showed up.  That may have thrown some of you off.  But the truth is there really is a funny video.  If you have not done it already, you can click on the title of that blog and it will bring you to that video.

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2 Comments on “Family Dinners”

  • 25 June, 2010,

    Oh, dear. … This is why I need you. A. I didn’t see the ad and B. I didn’t know people took phone calls during dinner unless they were expecting an important call that could not be postponed. Isn’t this why we have answering machines and voice mail? Technology is supposed to serve the user, not the other way around.

  • ronit
    25 June, 2010,

    Yes, the whole issue of whether we are in control of our lives or at the mercy of our environment comes back to the question, Who is in charge of your life? Awareness is the key!

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