When I was growing up, my family spent hours talking at the dining table, all during the meal and long after the meal was over. It was a time before everyone’s eyes were always glued to a screen; we were all present in the room, and not preoccupied with chatting to people elsewhere or caught up in taking the best selfie for Instagram. Everyone participated in the conversation and we talked about everything and nothing at all. We laughed at each other’s funny stories. We learned new things, celebrated each other’s successes and lessened our miseries by brainstorming solutions. The best thing of all was that we connected and strengthened the bonds without the resentment that now takes place when we feel that the people we’re with aren’t paying attention to what we’re saying. We’ve all seen people in cafés seated together but not talking. Technology has its advantages, but not in all aspects.
Even away from the dining table, I feel like my daughter misses out on things happening around her because she’s too busy looking at her screen, keeping up with what’s going on around the people who post pictures and videos of their lives…while missing out on hers. Most often, while we’re out somewhere, I’ll say, “Did you see that?” And she’ll look up and say, “No, what?” And I’ll say, “Nevermind, you missed it.”
I sometimes wish that cell phones hadn’t evolved beyond their original purpose ~ emergency calls. While the gadget in the video might be helpful in promoting dinner table conversations again, I think a better way to do this is for parents to simply ban gadgets before, during and after dinner time. No gadgets until everyone completes the necessary dinnertime chores. No exceptions. Tantrums and meltdowns dealt with accordingly.
What do you think of this proposed technology?