A family at a restaurant is out to eat and enjoy and somebody or the other is checking their phone for text messages or emails, every few minutes.
At a get-together with friends, people look at their phone’s screen more often than their friend’s face.
You are stuck behind someone on a road who is driving at the speed of 40 kmph What’s your first thought? That guy needs to get off his phone!
You could meet your friend for a coffee date, instead you catch up on whatsapp for an hour.
Ok, here’s a question. Can you list the names of your 10 neighbours and all those in their families? Tough question? If not 10, can you list the details of 5 neighbours? I am sure, it would be still difficult to answer!
Technology though connects us with anybody and everybody but is disconnecting us from the world around us. Instead of spending time in person with family and friends, we just call or text them. It may seem simpler and convenient, but we ultimately end up interacting with our family and friends face to face a lot less. 10 texts can never match the fun and joy of meeting a friend over lunch. And all the smileys and emoticons can be cute, but they could never replace the ear-splitting grin and smiling eyes of one of our best friends. It’s like the Real Togetherness is missing from our lives. Don’t you agree?
Here are a few ideas and strategies that can disconnect us from our Smartphone/gadget addiction and reconnect us with our family, family and neighbours in the apartment complex so that we can enjoy Real Togetherness with them.
- Play games. Play badminton, volleyball, tennis, frisbee, or table tennis.
- Go jogging or take a walk together.
- Have a cookout. Cook a dinner together on the terrace or garden.
- Visit all of the nearby tourist sights we have never bothered to check out.
- Go for a picnic to a nearby resort.
- Go grocery shopping together.
- Invite some friends over and bake cakes and cookies together.
- Tour something: a factory, bakery, dairy, or a garage.
- Organize a flash mob dance in the apartment complex.
- Go bowling with friends.
- Visit a farmer’s market.
- Take a class on something you are good at… quilling, baking, photography, blogging…
- Organize a bake sale in the neighbourhood.
- Prepare a meal for a couple with a new baby.
- Make cards with children for Diwali and send to all in the neighbourhood.
- Take a group of children on a field trip.
- Pack some food and distribute them to homeless people.
- Take a bicycle trip around the city.
- Go to the zoo or an amusement park, a museum or a planetarium.
- On a weekend, get out the gardening tools and find someone who could use some free yard work. Everyone can pitch in and help.
- String popcorn and place on trees for the birds. And watch them eat from far. Click lots of pictures.
- Have a bonfire outdoors, cook, eat and sing together.
- Visit some elderly people and spend time with them.
- Visit a farm. Milk a cow/goat, help to feed the animals. Or clean around.
- Organize a film festival and watch some classics together with family and friends.
Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. So, let’s get started on this journey where we discover and share Real Togetherness with family and friends.