The Demise of the Dinner Meal
Dinner might still be one of the iconic pictures of families all across the world. Once a day, dinner is supposed to be a time when families can get together to talk about their days, spend time laughing and enjoy some homecooked meals. It seems that the busier we get though, the less often such dinners occur. We spend more time just grabbing fast food, leaving the table early or pulling out our cell phones and engaging in the virtual world instead of what is around us. This is the demise of the dinner meals.
Think about the last time you sat down at a standard table with your family. If you’re lucky it happens quite often during the week. For me, it doesn’t happen as much. It happens more often in restaurants or we end up getting some fast food along the way because it’s more convenient and is a lot quicker than making a meal. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault, it’s just how it is sometimes.
If you can think of your last meal at home, can you remember if everyone in the family was present? In the past families would travel in the same city just to have a meal everyday. At least that’s been my perception of how things were. Ideally this would be the best case scenario. Why? Because with each family member that joins, the more stories that can be shared and the more bonding that can occur. I think everyone can agree with me that family is the strongest bond that you can have with anyone in this world. The dinner table is a perfect place for this interaction to happen.
It’s a bit sad now though that most families don’t have the time to gather altogether isn’t it? Have we gotten so busy and has his meal gotten so unimportant in our lives that we can’t spend half an hour together?
For those that do get the chance to have meals together, do you use that time to really connect with others? Or do you find yourself getting distracted by cell phones? I admit, I suffer from this problem from time to time because sometimes work items just seem super critical at the moment. I’m sure that some have pulled out their phone for entertainment and checking the latest news on Facebook. If I think about it though, taking away time to interact with a real person and instead putting it in an inanimate object just sounds very silly.
What do we accomplish by checking Facebook in the time you should be spending bonding with others? Has getting likes and shares of your content really become more important than the person in front of you? I experienced a bit of this today after work. Me and a couple of my coworkers went out to dinner but for much of the time i observed them getting on their phones to check emails or catch up on texts. I didn’t particularly mind too much, but I think they missed the opportunity to really take in the people around them. Did they notice some of the children running around that just put a smile on your face when you see them? Did they take time to appreciate the food they were eating? Did they really get to know people they don’t see very often because most o the team works from home?
No matter the case, I write this today because I hope that everyone reconsiders how they spend their meals at home. Even if you end up eating alone, you can focus on just the taste of your meal and let your thoughts wander as you stare out of a window. Dinner is meant to be a pleasant and relaxing time that you can spend either to yourself or with others. Let’s make an effort out of respect for other people to stay engaged during dinners. I think you will find you get a lot more meaning and a lot more memories if you do so!