I love technology. I hate technology. It is a wonderfully problematic paradox. 

The good and the bad of technology, more specifically phones for this conversation, is that they have a transformative power.

Phones take you closer to the things and people that are further away and take you further away from the things and people that you are close to. 

This concept is something that I have been observing and thinking about for some time now. More recently because my oldest son now has an iPhone and he is a teenager. I now watch and attempt to shepherd the transformation that takes place once you have instant access to almost everything...

So why does any of this matter and why am I even writing this because frankly the last 5 posts have been about mapping and I am no authority in social or emotional well-being. I can tell you this... there are more and more studies that are coming out about the damage caused by social media and OUR addiction to phones (you see it and probably feel it too). I know this first-hand because I build applications and have done social media marketing and they are all geared at grabbing and keeping your attention. 

Marketing/ Social media platforms make a lot of their revenue during the holidays; I used to work for a really big one. One article I saw showed that retailers will use 30%-50% of their total marketing budget during the holidays. They are not thinking... let's lay off the ads so Nate can spend time with his family and not get distracted by the 20% off power tools Home Depot ad we just served him. It is quite the opposite. 

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I want to attempt to address this issue, even if only for a day... This is the message that I sent to my sister (who is hosting), brother-in-law and wife about tomorrow. 

Social experiment for tomorrow.... what if we challenged everyone to put their phones in a box or basket for the entire get together... I’ll buy little disposable cameras people could use and we will bring our good camera. Then afterwards we can develop the film and share pictures or whatever. Conscious Thanksgiving...

I don't know if everyone will want to participate but it is something that I want to start implementing at events and holidays. I think we need to become more conscious of our behavior and engagement or lack thereof when around those closest to us. Left unchecked it is too easy to fall into the sea of the internet, Instagram and Facebook (the platforms that may have brought you this very message). I struggle with this personally, I struggle parenting this... but I am being very intentional about addressing it and working to make the relationships in my life better... and it will have nothing to do with Likes and everything to do with being present.

Connect with your friends and family and give thanks for the fact that you are actually PRESENT in each other's life. Tomorrow is a day for #nohashtags

Share this with the people you want to be present with tomorrow.