Disconnect to reconnect
By Kristelle Bechayda
We can’t deny just how much social media and the internet have changed our way of communicating. With just a few clicks, one can look for the information that he needs or get updates from an old friend’s life. And while these advancements have made it easier for everyone to reach out and establish long distance relationships, the constant attention on the screens also distract them from enjoying face-to-face interactions with their loved ones.
Ask any mom and they would have something to say on how this negatively affects the relationship within their families. With excessive gadget use now becoming a hindrance to having meaningful conversations, this prompted Litson Manok chain Andok’s to come up with a way to promote face-to-face interaction through its Hour Mama campaign during Mother’s Day.
Gadget-free Hour Mama
Dedicated on providing mothers an hour of quality time with their families, the campaign encourages the idea of getting back to the actual way of communicating without these gadgets serving as a barrier.
“Nowadays, lagi nating hawak yung mga phones natin. A lot of kids would just play. Even if they would talk to their moms, it’s also on Messenger. But they rarely have face-to-face interaction anymore,” explained Jacqueline Caccam, who is the associate creative director behind the campaign. “So what about this Mother’s Day, you just put your phone down and have a heart-to-heart connection with your mom without anything distracting you from it?”
So last May 12, the idea was tested on families who attended the Hour Mama campaign at Andok’s branch in Makati Avenue. For an hour, everyone was discouraged to use their phones so they could genuinely interact with their loved ones. Just within a few minutes after lunch was served, and the whole place was already abuzz with conversations!
Having heart-to-heart conversations
“We were talking about our relationship as a mother and son,” shared 19-year-old EJ Tangalin, who attended the intimate event with his mom Lariza. “I think it’s a nice thing that we were able to hold a conversation longer than two sentences because usually, we just use our phones while we are eating.”
With a mom who is constantly on her phone and a frequent computer user himself, EJ added that sometimes the gadgets become a distraction because it hinders them to communicate effectively. “It becomes a wall because whenever someone is using a gadget, they are usually in their own worlds, so they can’t quite interact with each other properly,” he said.
As for businesswoman and blogger Ginger Arboleda, what she liked the most about Hour Mama was that she was able to play with her six-year-old daughter Zeeka. “I felt na masaya yung anak ko na I really took the time out to focus on her. I was teaching her about the game na ginawa ko noong bata ako. Usually, ‘yun lang naman ang kailangan ng mga anak natin– it’s time to play with them, talk to them, and communicate with them.”
Ginger’s husband, EJ Arboleda, also noticed how the mother and daughter enjoyed their quality time together. “Ginger is a blogger and constantly has to be on her gadget, so it’s nice to see that they were able to find something common. They’re both very competitive, and that’s a realization. They really enjoyed a game where someone was losing. That was fun for them,” he fondly shared.
Applying the Hour Mama concept at home
A busy mom who spends about 12-14 hours a day facing a screen, Ginger added that she would like to apply the concept of Hour Mama in her own home. With the period between dinner time and bedtime as their only opportunity to bond on weekdays, she wants to make the most out of it by promoting activities that would enhance her daughter’s imagination.
Her husband also agrees on this. With Zeeka having a keen interest on coming up with her own games, the supportive father would also like to use these gadget-free moments by playing the games that their daughter creates.
“Na realize ko talaga na maganda pala na walang gadgets. It’s really the power of communicating [through] face-to-face activities and using your hands for creating. Ito yung nakita kong value na I want to instill habang bata pa yung anak ko, that she can create and invent things,” Ginger explained.
Aside from encouraging meaningful conversations, the power of a gadget-free bonding also strengthens family relationships and even benefits your child’s personal development. Start your daily Hour Mama moments and share them by posting a photo of you and your family on social media and using the hashtag #HourMama.
(Created with Andok’s)