Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

Friday Wellness Tip: Sorry No Wi Fi! Thank Goodness!


Dear Wellness Seekers,

Friday Wellness Tip: Sorry No Wi Fi! Thank Goodness!  Well then talk to each other while you eat ribs!

Spanista is hoping this menu board at a local Tampa restaraunt will make you smile and stop you to think about the message like it did me for your emotional wellbeing’s sake.  Picture this:  It is a day of onslaught Florida rains. The kind that saturate your body and soul with heavy down pours. Rivers of water wash down the roads headed for the bay. We decided it was a perfect day for barbecue at a spot we like just off Bayshore Boulevard called Kojak’s House of Ribs. A go to place for luscious ribs. It’s local charm emotes from the old two story house with a wide wrap around porch that’s been converted to a one of a kind eatery. You know the kind of southern style homes that were built before air conditioning became the conventional way to live. On warm days and nights the style was for people to sit out on the huge wrap around veranda. The place everyone loved to hang out for relaxing meal time and leisure time  – hoping to catch a cool breeze. Today, we wanted to luncheon el- fresco on the veranda while enjoying the cool steamy comfort bouncing off the pouring rain pools. Dining on Kojak’s porch on a day like this makes you feel like a you are in protected cocoon. The banyon trees are draped in spanish moss and there is a magnolia blossom trying to save itself from a drenching. Can you smell it?


Once settled in, we turned to Kojak’s menu board and laughed out load when we saw this message: Sorry No Wi Fi!  Talk to each other while you eat ribs! 

We took the challenge but honestly is was hard for both of us to keep from reaching for our smart phones when there was a lull in the conversation. But I looked around at the other tables and saw people glued to their screens. Adult couples not engaging with each other as they were also glued to their screens.  I see it in many restaraunts with all kinds of people on any given day. This made Spanista sad.  This behavior has to be hurting our relationships across the board. This in turn hurts our wellbeing long term. Spanista suggests its time for a dose of self awareness.

So I did some homework and want share what I learned.  Caitlin Dewey reports in The Washington Post: Why You Should Really Stop Using Your Smartphone at Dinner that “Well over half of all American adults own smartphones. One-third of them use their phones during dinner, that most fundamental of social encounters. (Spanista thinks it is actually higher.) And a mounting pile of evidence suggests is increasingly the norm. Our smartphones are hurting our relationships — and that’s hurting us.

“Even without active use, the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections,” reads a disturbing study from researchers at Virginia Tech. “Individuals are more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation partner’s voice, and have less eye contact — just because a mobile phone is physically present.”

“Researchers and tech-watchers have long understood that the chirping, insatiable temptations of our little screens change the way we interact with other people “IRL.” In the past couple years, a mountain of studies have demonstrated that cellphone use makes us more selfishmore easily distracted and more stressed. A survey last March suggested that nearly 9 in 10 people feel that their loved ones neglect them in favor of technology on a weekly basis. A smaller-scale observational study suggested that, when parents and young children dine together, parents frequently pay the most attention to their phones.”

“Parents on smartphones ignore their kids, — reflecting, perhaps, a growing consciousness of (and discomfort about) the subtle ways our smartphones blind us.”

“This new paper from Virginia Tech is concerning because it confirms that the mere passive presence of mobilephones cheapens in-person conversation, even when we’re not looking at them.” 

Friday Wellness Tip: Sorry No Wi Fi! Thank Goodness! Spanista suggests this weekend while you are sharing meals with loved ones, try to put the smartphones away and practice REAL TOGETHERNESS!  Find a spot where your can have a porch like atmosphere. Look your loved ones in the eyes and start a conversation. Work to hold their attention with artful exchanges – Learn something new about each other, make plans, share secrets, have a meal that fills you with love and laughter – not just good food. Get dessert and linger over it. Let me know what magic unfolds as a result ok? Enjoy it. And remember to smell the magnolias!

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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