Let’s face it, our lives are run by our cell phones. From checking email to taking pictures to making calls we are all connected at all times. Despite this abundant functionality, sometimes, especially when you’re trying to enjoy time with friends and family, technology can be annoying.
Don’t let your holidays become overrun by relatives texting while you open gifts. Follow these rules to have a disconnected holiday season:
If you’re hosting the holidays, you make the rules. Let your guests know your expectations. For example, if you’d like your guests to turn off their phones during dinner, you need to make that clear when they arrive.
If you’d like to host a smartphone-free holiday gathering, you need to designate a place for phones, just as you need a place for guests to leave their coats. If you’d like guests to leave their phone at the door, consider setting up a power strip for charging so when people are ready to leave their phones are fully charged.
If you’re going to a restaurant, call ahead and ask what their cell phone policy is. Some restaurants are offer a discount if you check your phones when you arrive.
You don’t have to disconnect completely. Consider the advantages of mobile devices and what they can bring to the table. Smartphones are a wonderful way your guests can share pictures of their children and their latest vacations. There are also many group game apps that can be used to involve an entire room full of people. A phone or tablet can also entertain young children who may not be able to sit for as long as the party lasts.
Ask your guests to observe general smartphone etiquette: Turn off the sound when it might be a distraction to others (airplane mode is great for this), avoid texting or answering a call when in a face-to-face conversation, and if making or answering a call or text, go to a private area.