Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cell Phone Roulette

Americans spend 11 hours A Day with Electronic Media, Source Mashable

According to a recent Nielsen study, the average American spends 11 hours a day with electronic media. Let's pause at that statistic for a moment! It's almost a 1/2 a day of our lives that we spend checking email, sending texts, browsing Facebook or watching TV.

Now this statistic may not hold true for you, but think about it for a moment. How much of your day do you spend just on your smartphone?

In today's digital era of hyper connectivity, the need to stay connected or entertained descends so far our lives that can impact the time we spend developing and maintaining real life relationships. Often the need to capture the perfect moment to post on Instagram or Facebook, can distract from the perfect moment that we are spending with our friends and family.

In 2014, it's rare to spend 1 hour with a group of friends, where one person hasn't snapped a picture for Snapchat, responded to an email, sent out a group text or checked for a sports update. The need to check the phone is so pervasive that it has become second nature in group social settings, including time at the beach or eating out at a restaurant.

The next time you are at a restaurant with a group of friends, I challenge you to play Cell Phone Roulette, where each of you places their phone in the center of the table. If one person reaches for a phone and checks it during the meal, then he or she pays the entire bill. If the group makes it through the meal without checking or reaching for their phone, then group equally splits the meal.

I tried it with a group of friends over the weekend. The first time we were trying to cohere each to look at each others phones, however by the second, third and fourth time, we were engaging in deep conversation, making eye contact the entire meal and staying unnplugged. We may have missed a few posts on Instagram, but the conversation and relationship building far outweighed any missed calls, texts or social media likes.

Now, it's your turn to give it a try!

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