We can all relate to this scene: You go out to dinner with friends or family and instead of asking each other about work and life, you all scroll through Facebook or like photos on Instagram until your food arrives. How do we break this cycle?
Sarah’s Corner Cafe, in Pennsylvania, has an idea: The restaurant is giving parties of four or more a 10 percent discount if they can — gasp — put their phones away for their entire meal.
To ensure patrons follow through, the restaurant offers a basket to drop phones into with a message that reads, “This is family charging time, leave your phone in the basket.” Servers will also bring over pencils so groups can play interactive games like Tic Tac Toe, as ABC News reports.
“I just thought it was such a shame not to have more time together just to talk,” Barry Lynch, the cafe owner, told ABC News. “Look at my eyes. I’m here with you. How was your day?”
Mealtime — once a hallmark of connection and staple of family gatherings — can be divisive with today’s digital temptations. Even when we’re physically together, many of us automatically delve into our own private, digital worlds in instead of connecting with those right in front of us.
Being an unplugging-advocate in the face of the many mindlessly scrolling their feeds can feel daunting, especially if it’s your friends, family or children you’re preaching to. Here’s where the Sarah’s Corner Cafe technique could come in handy: If a restaurant is incentivizing a phone free meal, maybe people will realize the benefits of a screen-less hour and take the “family charging time” practice to go.
Read more on ABC.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com