Relational Resilience Booster: Put Down That Device!
Activity Name: Smart Phone Memory
Time Required: 10-15 minutes
Ages: 7 and up
Introduction: When we spend too much time on smart phone and other devices, we run the risk of missing important insights and cues about what’s going on with the people in our lives. In this activity, family members will think that they’re supposed to be memorizing items on a smart phone when really they’re missing out on tuning in to a family member.
What you need:
• A smart phone, or another device like a computer or tablet, per pair (ideally the Desktop or Home Screen of the device will have a lot of apps or saved files.)
• 1 copy of “The Resilience Breakthrough for Parents” or any other books at your child’s reading level, per pair
Hand one person in each pair a device – a smart phone, tablet, or computer – that is NOT their own. Hand the other person in each pair a copy of “The Resilience Breakthrough for Parents” or any other book your child might enjoy reading but is not regularly read by your child.
Tell family members that when you say “Go,” the family members with a device will have 30 seconds to memorize the exact order of the files or apps on the Desktop or Home Screen, and will be asked afterward to name them from memory. Tell them that as an extra challenge, their partner will be reading their book out loud while they try to focus on memorizing the device.
When you say “Go,” allow the partner with the device to look at the device and start memorizing, and have the other partner begin reading the book out loud, starting on any page they prefer. After 2 minutes, tell everyone to stop looking at the device or reading out loud. Now ask the family members who were reading the device to repeat back to you what their partner was reading from the book. Likely, that’s not where their focus was because they were told to focus instead on their device.
• What was hard about this activity?
• Do you think you would have remembered more about what was being read to you if you hadn’t been trying to memorize your device?
• When we’re focused on our phones, tablets, computers, or TV, are we better or worse at listening to the people around us?