In this fast-paced, tech-driven world, truly meaningful connections can be in short supply. A dinner complete with a side order of devices — whether it’s phones, tablets or televisions — has become the norm. The good news is that disrupting this pattern can be as simple as an easy switch. Here’s what happens when you set aside your devices for a “device-free dinner” to make purposeful connections with your people.
(Don’t have time for dinner? A breakfast or nighttime snack together can reap the same benefits, a Cornell study showed.)
1. You tune into your food—and each other.
The concept of mindfulness is all the rage, but thoughtfully taking the time to pay attention to what’s in front of you — whether that’s your food or your people — can reap big rewards. When you focus on food without distraction, you are better posed to tune into cues related to hunger and fullness, and research has shown that slowing down while eating may even help cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And when you slow down, you give yourself the opportunity to truly listen to what’s going on in each other’s lives — something that can be easily missed in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
2. You give your children a leg up.
Studies show that having a sit-down family dinner promotes language development in young children. Children more easily learn vocabulary, general knowledge, and even stories and explanations when sitting together for meals. Additionally, children who engaged fully in family meals showed increased levels of mental health, less substance abuse and less adolescent delinquency.
To make it easier to facilitate these meaningful moments at mealtime, Cox provides customers with the option of using their app to turn the WiFi modems on and off in the home, making sure that children can focus on their family at mealtimes as they put away phones and tablets. When dinner is over, you can easily turn your modem back on to look up topics discussed at dinner.
3. Your stress levels go down.
When you sit together with your loved ones for a relaxing meal, you can actively erase the stress levels of the day, according to a Brigham Young study. The research found that working parents were able to reduce the stress of a long day in the office (even if they worked long hours) by taking the time to sit down for a family meal. The study also showed that employees had increased productivity during the week when they were able to get home for mealtime.
We’ve teamed up with Common Sense Media to provide tips, tools and activities for making the most of your device-free dinner. Taking charge of your in-home WiFi network doesn’t mean missing out. Foster connections and learn more about how Cox puts you in control.