OR how to fully enjoy Christmas with your OFFLINE inner circle while staying connected to our extended ONLINE circle too!

We are all craving for our family and friends to be fully present for Christmas gathering times.

And some of us can find it difficult to stay still without our hands on our mobile, exchanging on social media or watching YouTube.

Social media is the ultimate connection tool of our 21st Online century and finding a balance with online and offline times can be managed throughout the routine of the school year; however when it comes to the longest holidays of the year…we tend to either drift into addiction or disconnection.

And both can be unhealthy.

Here are a few tips for you to pick and choose from to enable you and your family to be connected the healthiest way over Christmas.

Helping you to keep your ONLINE and OFFLINE presence balanced on these special days of the year! 

Main goal : Avoid the online distraction while allowing sharing the offline times online 

1. Preventing the distraction 

Whatever our familial situation is and how we perceive Christmas, we are compelled to make efforts and bring on some healthy social vibes to the TABLE (literally) when it comes to this time of the year.

However, if too many of your guests are on their phone it is unlikely that you will convey the sacredness of the Christmas familial offline times.

So, preventing the distraction is technically to manage your guests’ access to their phone.

Here are 3 ways to do it in a compelling fun way, making it therefore a more acceptable way.

The Christmas stocking option 

Request phones to be placed into Christmas stockings.

If you don’t have nominated ones for all your guests – simply ask them to place it in someone’s else stocking.

The “wrap me up ” option 

Arrange for extra wrapping paper and ask your guests to wrap their phones and place them under the tree!

If your family is cheeky, you can turn it into a game.

Otherwise give your guest a pen to write their name on their wrapped up, sacred online tool. 

The fancy napkin holder option 

Have fancy Christmas napkin holders where they can rest their phone into.

This option is great for the ones who are expecting “the urgent call” and won’t play along with not having their phone at the table. 

And…

So many other funky options you could come up with to make the processs less disrupting and aligned with the Christmas feel.

The phrase that applies here is: “far from the eyes, far from the temptation…” 

If no-one has direct access to their phones, you will guarantee the offline connection will happen naturally. 

As the main culprit is when one person picks up their phone , then another one will…as they are being simply reminded of the potential tempting distraction.

2.Organised online sharing times 

Before your guests arrive

As you would have made an outstanding job at decorating your table, take pictures before your guests arrive and post them on social media – tagging your family / friends guests before they arrive.

Anticipation of the offline connecting times is key! 

Be the main “online sharer “ during diner 

After you have set the rules and organised your guests phones to be tucked away ( see point 1.), announce that you will be the main photographer ,”memory sharer ” throughout lunch/ dinner.

Note : do not forget to ask who may not be willing to have their picture taken and shared on social media.

While the food is being served – take pictures, capturing the offline connecting essence you have created around the table.

Allow individuals to share their own offline times after dinner 

Once all the food has been served and it is time for present sharing and opening, they will get access to their phones again.

Be encouraging of them sharing their opening moments on videos. 

Do a video call with the extended family or friends who could not make it to the offline gathering or who you wish to share your festive vibes with.

This extends the love; sharing these moment , making them feel remembered and appreciated. Extending your inner offline circle to your online one.

3.Troubleshooting guide ! 

It may not go as smoothly and your regular guests in particular (aka your kids) may not be willing to comply to your requirements as per point 1 and 2 and sneak in their phone under the table or just rebelliously right in front of everyone’s eyes at the Christmas table.

The first gentle reminder 

Come around to their “private online bubble” in the intention of disrupting them gently

Ask with empath : 

“Anything urgent you have to take care of online ?“

Extend the care by saying:

“I get it; it can be hard to switch off from (whatever they brought up) but it would be great if we could have your undivided attention until we finish eating?”

Apply the triple C effect : Curiosity/ Compassion / Care 

If the first gentle reminder has not been effective do not add anything else to the conversation for a bit of time.

The important fact here is to simply remain composed.

In the meantime,  just disregard their addicted pattern and focus instead on the rest of the guests who are enjoying their offline presence in your company.

They may come to an understanding that they are actually missing out on great offline times.

If they keep on being “glued” to their screen, you can approach them with the triple C effect using a curious, caring and compassionate approach to the situation.

Bring an understanding to their potential online addiction by saying:

“I believe you care about the person you are currently interacting with”

Add your own reference / story by saying something like: 

“I also have a friend who started a conversation online with me earlier. I also want to talk to him/ her but I know that I can get into the conversation later, as it’s the beauty of being online. Time is not as relevant as offline”

Yes stating the obvious can be a simple trick here ! 

And if you can open up the discussion talking about their online friend 

“Who is it? What is he/ she up to for Christmas ? Are you planning to see him/ her later on this holiday?”

Bringing a sense of compassion and care for who they are currently limited to engage with is important.

On this note, I wish you all a lovely Christmas, and hope that this blog would help you enhance your sacred festive offline times as well as your shared online times! 

CONNECT WITH AUDREY:

Facebook:  Net Health-ing

Instagram: @nethealthing

Websitewww.nethealthing.com

ARTICLE BY

Audrey Muliva,
Net Health-ing

Audrey Muliva is the founder at Net Health-ing, a social movement guiding us on HOW to be alive online the healthiest way. “With Net Health-ing say NO to addiction and disconnection and YES to healthy connections”

I train us to use social media as our compassionate training ground, developing healthy online social habits that transpose offline too. 

My mission: help us stay away from attacks, negativity and drama we can scroll into while regaining our natural healthy ability to connect with others.

I am one of the leader at the SA speaker’s tribe; and I am focusing speaking in high schools. I am always looking for more contacts and collaboration in schools to impact our teenager’s healthy social development! 

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