If you have been to a wedding recently, you may have been asked to turn your mobile devices completely off, in order to, maintain the intimacy of the ceremony. Modern brides and grooms are now choosing to have “unplugged” ceremonies, so that there private ceremony photos are not blasted all over social media before the recessional even starts. It is also the preference of most professional photographers. It’s hard for them to battle with the flash on your Aunt Judy’s iPad, and having to crop out the crowd of cell phones in the air during the vow exchange. This new trend would work wonders for creating one heck of a house party.
The invention of the mobile phone has impeded the way that we experience events and how we interact with one another. Right now, you are probably at a restaurant with five of your friends reading this article instead of actively enjoying the moment (or listening to your best friend pour her heart out about her new beau). I want you to think of this very moment the next time you plan a house party for your friends and family.
I challenge you to take it back to the old school. You remember the days when there was nothing but jamming music, dance contests, catching up on the goings on in everyone’s lives, and just releasing all of the weight of the past week’s happenings? Nowadays, the music is playing, but everyone is staring at their phones, scrolling through their social media feeds (or texting their boo), struggling to find something to talk about with the person sitting right next to them.
This holiday season, when all of the home entertaining is on and popping, ask your guests to leave their phones at the door upon entry. Label each one and place them in a cute little box or basket that you will put in a secure place. Be sure to tell them ahead of time on the invitation that the party will be unplugged. Give them all one contact number that they can pass to their loved ones (or babysitters) in case of emergency. You can create a free Google number that will connect to your phone, so that your actual phone number can remain private.
Of course, everyone will want pictures to post, so have a digital camera on hand. You can upload the photos the next day to a cloud server like DropBox, send everyone the link along with everyone’s social media handles, and ask that they post them using a custom hashtag.
So, get ready to pull out the games, let the drinks flow, and tear up the living room dance floor like Sydney, Sharane, Kid and Play. Fully immerse yourself in the company of others. Just don’t bump the deejay table.