Connect with home not tech
Does your dining room need a digital detox?
In a world dominated by technology, we need to switch off from time to time to foster meaningful connections with the people who matter. Here we investigate the value of being truly together at home and why talking, laughing, even arguing is good for the soul
‘Home is where the heart is,’ the saying goes. Or, to bring it up-to-date, ‘Home is where the wi-fi router is.’ The dining room – a sanctuary once reserved for roast dinners with the extended family, excitable catch-ups over prosecco, impromptu parties and board–game battles has been over-run by tech – switching our laughter onto Silent Mode.
If you feel like you’ve been spending less quality time with your partner, friends or family at home, it might be important to reassess the balance of life spent online and off.
Because research shows that lose those raucous family meals of shared stories (OK, and shared tiffs) and it can set children’s education back. Harvard University found that kids learned 1,000 rare words at the dinner table compared to only 143 from parents reading stories, with regular family mealtimes proving a better predictor of high grades than time spent in school or doing homework.
The good news is you don’t need to switch off your tech entirely, just create a centre for your home. Keep it free of distracting clutter, and use plants, flowers, photos, books, garden views, snuggly rugs and relaxing music to create a space people want to be in.
Most importantly, build the habit of not using devices here. It’s a place to go with friends and family when you want to chat without tech interruptions. Dr William Van Gordon, Associate Professor of Contemplative Psychology at the University of Derby says that “over time, it will serve as a reminder to lift our head up to things unfolding in the real world around us, such as laughter or the smell of food cooking.”.
Dr Van Gordon, says “creating a physical space of quiet and calm can cultivate a mental space of quiet and calm, because our environment directly impacts our mood and state of mind”.
Why not make tonight the night you have a screen-free dinner at home? We heart that.