When I was a kid, dinner was a sacred time for my family. At exactly 6pm, my brother and I were expected to be at the table, sans electronics. There was an open invitation for friends to join us, and we were generally free to do whatever we wanted before and after dinner. But, dinnertime could not be tampered with.
Nowadays, dinnertime, even with family and friends, consists of photos of food, checking of notifications and there's always a point in the meal when everyone around the table is more concerned with their phones than we are with the company.
Pope Francis is joining the debate to say that people need to put their phones away for dinner.
“Sadly the family meal, this great symbol of togetherness, is disappearing in some societies," he said during an address at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. “A family that almost never eats together, or that never speaks at the table but looks at the television or the smartphone, is hardly a family. When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family, this is a pensioner!
“Sitting at table for the family dinner, sharing our meal and the experiences of our day, is a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity."
He went on to say that it's easy to see if a family member is going through a trying time when you spend dinners together, unless your attention is on your phone instead.
The Pope certainly makes a valid point. We are losing out on time with actual humans because we are are so attached to our mobile devices.
Turn this into an experiment -- force everyone in your family to put their phones away during your next dinner together. How was the conversation? Did you learn something new about your siblings' lives? Did you feel more connected to each other than you had in a while? The results might surprise you.
H/T Digital Trends