Technology During Dinnertime? Mother Says NO! IV: Mealtime Rules, Meaning, Reflections on Technology, and Conclusion
by Camilla Moreira, MPsy
This series was originally completed as a Major Research Project in partial fulfillment of Adler Graduate Professional School’s Master of Psychology degree.
No Technology During Mealtime Promotes Closer Relationships
Due to the participants’ busy lifestyle, they were asked to reflect if mealtime was the only time that they had together as a family. Participants reported having more individual interaction with their family members during the weekend. They also described having dinner as one of the few activities they do together as a family during the week days; otherwise, weekends were when participants reported significant family interaction. This can be observed in the following comments:
Oh, we’re together all the time, but you know the kids might be playing, or uh we each have one child that we’re either doing school work with, or uh maybe watching a movie with. So, we’re always together, except when you’re around the table, it seems that um conversation with the whole family seems to happen more fluidly, where the kids might express something that heard, um or uh you know tell a joke, or uh it’s a, I guess a time when we’re looking at each other. We’re present, um and it’s easier to communicate with each other instead of individually. Or sometimes we’re in the house, but we’re not um one on one so to speak, we’re all doing our own thing, um so yeah. (Monica, 2nd interview)
Um, yeah apart from the morning. Getting ready in the morning to leave. So I guess yes, we’re together in the mornings as well, and in the evenings. Yes, if we’re considering all four of us then yes it would be mornings, evenings, that’s during the week. And the weekends. (Sally, 2nd interview)
Um . . . Again . . . um . . . we like . . . We all have-During the day of course we all have our thing we work or go to school and then um afterwards like there is-there is uh hockey for example. D. has a lot of hockey. And … not always but you know the big games now and then um will make the boys come-like the boys will-will come. And s-so that we’ll all be together there and um we visit you know my parents or I guess there are other times we do things together but because of the age group right now um . . . they do a lot more things independently. But again, it-it’s funny because we may not do so much as a family but even when S. is here with his girlfriend or R. with his, they’ll always take-they’ll take K. or D. or somebody with them. So they’ll do things in a group. And so not necessarily all of us but there will be groups. (Allison, 2nd interview)
Uh, dinner during the week, we’re together as a family and the weekends we, we do . . . on the weekends we do have other meals together and we usually try to do activities together on the weekends, but during the week, um, all of us, all together at the same time is just about only at dinner and maybe just after dinner doing the dishes, or perhaps, um, watching something on the news, or doing . . . but even if we’re doing homework, it’s usually only two or three of us, not all of us at the same time. (Olivia, 2nd interview)
We do connect on the weekends. We will try to do activities, um, either on Saturday or on Sunday, or on both. Friday nights is usually a movie night. We’ll have a movie together or a Saturday night. Sunday afternoons we’ll take walk or go somewhere.
Yeah. We, we do, we do do things on the weekends. (Olivia, 2nd interview)
Um, dinner and right before going to bed. (Brie, 2nd interview)