Who do you love more, your phone or your family?
Easy answer, but consider the following seemingly arbitrary numbers: 46. 81. 0.
46: times per day the average adult checks their phone.
81: percent of Americans who admit to spending time looking at their phone during dinner.
0: the amount of life-changing emails or Facebook posts you’ll actually miss if you stay off your phone for an hour or two to share some uninterrupted quality time with your loved ones.
We know. Easier said than done. But we’ve found a fix. Actually, we’ve found a game.
It’s called The Stack. Anyone can play it, and like all great games (checkers, chess, Guess Who?), the rules are simple.
- Before a meal, everyone puts the one thing they’re most attached to – could be a tablet or a toy or that aforementioned phone, into a tidy pile at the center of the table.
- Temporarily free of your iShackles, you’ll listen attentively, engage completely and sudden find yourself making meaningful conversation with those around you.
- As the meal progresses, you’re likely to hear buzzing. And see flashing. You’ll be tempted to touch the beeping and blinking stack. Don’t.
- Whoever caves and reaches into the pile first, loses.
What could you play for? Well, if we’re talking about something like Sunday night family dinner, the first person to touch the stack might have to clear the table. Or, if you’re out with friends, the loser picks up the check. (That should sufficiently set the stakes.)
The Stack works best when you tailor the rules specifically for your group. Some modifications we like:
- Adding a five-minute “halftime” where everyone is free to dig into the stack to check for urgent missed calls or messages.
- Try playing The Stack during family movie night. Winner picks what you watch next time.
- Stretch the game out over the course of a few weeks or even months. The person with the most total wins gets to select the destination of the next family vacation.
If you’re playing the game right, everyone should be winning, and your time spent together should be just that more fulfilling.
Okay, now maybe stop reading this on your phone, and get back to dinner.
Got any great ideas for variations on The Stack? Tweet @HavenLifeInsurance, and let us know.