Or better yet, tell your friends to leave their gadgets at home, and plan a totally device-free dinner.
<p> <em><a href="http://www.good.is/series/30-days-of-good">30 Days of GOOD</a> (<a href="http://twitter.com/#search?q=%2330DaysofGood">#30DaysofGOOD</a>) is our monthly attempt to live better.</em><em> This month we're focused on improving the way we use technology.</em></p><p> Earlier this year, many blogs and news sites reported about the rise of "the phone stacking game." In this friendly competition, a group of pals gets together for a meal, and each person is required to place their phone on the table facedown in a stack. Foodbeast <a href="http://foodbeast.com/content/2012/01/06/phone-stacking-is-this-gem-of-social-engineering-the-next-dining-trend/">explains</a> the rules:</p><blockquote> <p> [A]s the meal progresses, you will all inevitably hear phone notifications going off. Texts, calls, Tweets, Facebook Notifications. But you’re not allowed to check your device. … You’ll spend all dinner almost-reaching for your phone. What’s holding you back from picking up your machine and checking it? The punchline that is: first person who touches their phone, picks up the tab for the entire table.</p>\n</blockquote><p> This weekend, your task is to get a group of pals together for a round of the phone stacking game. Or better yet, tell your friends to leave their gadgets at home, and plan a totally device-free dinner.</p><p> To brace yourself for the shock of going phoneless, read Jenna Wortham's recent celebration of JOMO (aka the Joy of Missing Out): <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/technology/cutting-the-digital-lifeline-and-finding-serenity.html?_r=1">"Turn Off the Phone (and the Tension)."</a></p><p> Would you do away with your phone if it meant getting a discount on your dinner bill? Check out <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2012/08/14/27876/los-angeles-restaurant-no-cell-incentive-discount/">this interview</a> with Los Angeles restauranteur Mark Gold, who has implemented a policy of giving customers 5% off the price of their meals if they agree to leave their phones at the door.</p><p> If you're up for taking on a bigger tech-free commitment, you might consider the <a href="http://thedigitaldetox.org/">Digital Detox Retreat</a>, a "personal wellness retreat where attendees give up their smart-phones and gadgets in exchange for four days of serenity and bliss." GOOD is working with the people behind this program on an upcoming Digital Makeover post, so stay tuned.</p>
Keep Reading Show less