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Taking back dinner time from technology.

Posted: April 15, 2015 | Author: jhansbrough

Technology is generally a good thing. It certainly speaks to our advances as a civilization, and we are able to truly expand our capabilities and reach in the fields of health, science, entertainment, and pretty much everything else. But of course, technology is often misused and abused, resulting in many conflicts like the Sony Hack from earlier this year, or even worse, the Boston Marathon bombing, that happened two years ago today. And most notoriously, it can be overused. Have you seen the number of people plastered to their iPhones on the streets or even when you're having conversations with them?

Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe. Click for article.
Photo credit: John Tlumacki, courtesy of The Boston Globe.
We pray for the victims and their families 2 years later. Click for article.


We at Grace Before Meals have a mission to bring families back to the dinner table, with good food and dinner discussions. And as you may know, there is a lot of research out there that shows the actual benefits of eating a regular family meal, particularly in teens. Some of the information is found on our "About Us" page, but some additional stats that you may not know:

> Teens who had frequent family dinners (5 to 7 per week) were more likely to report having high-quality relationships with their parents.
> In one study, American kindergartners who watched TV during dinner were more likely to be overweight by the time they were in third grade. The association between TV-watching during dinner and overweightness in children was also reported in Sweden, Finland and Portugal.


No doubt, as technology use continues to grow and land in the hands of younger generations, that same technology (here's looking at you tablets, smartphones, and TV) has invaded the dinner table, which should in many ways be considered "sacred ground". It is one of the best places to communicate with one another, tell each other about the good (and bad) things going on right now, and also a place to ensure those you eat with that you are interested in their lives and what they get themselves into. And as seen in the stats, this interaction truly impacts relationships, health, and behavior greatly.

Recently, a former GBM Event host from Pittsburgh, Rebecca P, sent our team this video of what is called the Pepper Hacker, and it's definitely worth checking out. Watch the video below:


Amazing, right? By cutting out the technology, there was an initial outcry from those who were affected by the electronic outage the Pepper Hacker created. And it wasn't even just kids and teenagers, but parents too! But what you see afterwards is what is truly marvelous: conversations, laughter, and families being fed, body, mind and soul. So I challenge you to take a step back and take the initiative, even without a nifty Pepper Hacker to shut everything down. Start turning the TV off, putting phones away, placing tablets in their cases, and bringing people back to the dinner table. The benefits go beyond a good meal and even laughter or interaction. You may just be saving the lives of those you love by sharing in the love you have for one another. 


Let us Pray:


Dear God, thank you for the abilities you have blessed us with, as our gifts are meant to be shared. As we grow in the ways we can help others through the use of technology, may we not move away from growing closer to You and one another through consistent interaction and time spent together. We offer special prayers for families who have trouble making time for one another without distractions, and families who are facing struggles of any sort. We also pray a special prayer for the families who were affected by the tragic Boston Marathon bombing from 2013, and hope that they may grow closer together. Time is precious, and may we truly cherish the time spent with those who are a part of our lives. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


This Week's Recipe: Thursday, April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day in the US, and I want to share a special recipe from my show Savoring Our Faith, which you can watch Thursdays at 4:00pm EDT. I call it Eggs Benedict XVI, after Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, of course. Tune in and share your thoughts on what you think. Bon appetit!