Take the Fourth of July Challenge
Yesterday exemplified for so many Americans what community, connection and comfort are all about. According to Statistic Brain Research here are some Fourth of July stats;
- 80% of Americans attended a bbq, picnic or cookout
- 75% of people got together with family
- 66% displayed their American flag
- 63% watched a firework display
- 150 million hot dogs were eaten
Given these stats, Fourth of July, sandwiched between the other two biggest grilling and cookout days, Memorial Day and Labor Day, provides ample opportunity to have a day filled with meaningful connections. Shared experiences with friends and family whether right in your backyard at a bbq or the shared experience of watching fireworks across the street, across the water or on TV with others creates pleasant experiences and memories. When you engage in these activities with others you create better emotional connections.
However, if you were at the bbq or watching fireworks and you were on your phone texting, posting or taking selfies the entire time, you missed out on that shared experience. You were physically there but not emotionally present. So, you most likely missed the opportunity to take advantage of one the greatest connection days of the year.
Reflect back – did you miss the opportunity? Were you too busy with your phone to be present? Lucky for you there are still 9 summer grilling weekends left including Labor day to create shared experiences and find deeper emotional connections. And, while Fourth of July represents some the biggest numbers in terms of getting together with family and friends at bbqs – you can still achieve the same results with your friends and family the rest of the summer whether it be at a weekend bbq or just taking advantage of the longer summer days. So here’s your challenge to create Fourth of July connections every day.
1. Put down the phone when you are in social setting and live in the moment - help others to join you by creating phone free summer bbqs and cookouts.
2. Be present with those around you and focus on your in-person interactions.
3. Listen to others.
4. Invite a person who might be lonely, new to town, or having a difficult time in life to join you at your next bbq, to meet for an iced coffee or attend a concert in the park.
Oh - if you feel awkward about asking your friends and family to put their phones away here’s an idea. Decorate a basket with Fourth of July colors and display it prominently on the way into your next event – ask your friends and family to let their phones have the afternoon or evening off - share with them it's important to take in summer and that you want to be in the moment with them to enjoy the shared experience.
Happy Summer Connecting!
Jill Bornstein is the Co – Founder & CFO of Inspiring Comfort. Learn more about how you can comfort and connect with others at www.inspiringcomfort.com