Ahh, the great family meal, all sitting down together as one we talk at length about our day, discussing issues close at hand and further afield. You cannot beat it, right?

Hang on, scratch that! Who actually has that picture postcard family mealtime? Can it really exist in today’s world?

We’re working longer day’s now then we have ever done. Gone is the starting at 9 am, an hour for lunch and clock off at 5. Dad, marches through the door, rolls up his sleeves, washes his hands at the kitchen sink and mum has the dinner ready. The family sit down and the meal can begin.

However, according to new research the family meal time is back on the agenda. In a recent poll 70% of Mum’s believe that their family spending their meal time together is important. However they face stiff competition from the 11 million plus technology devices fighting for attention. Yes, some 11.4 million devices to be exact accompany our family mealtime.

Now I work within the technology industry but even I find that stat simply staggering. We are literally laying a place at our dining room table for Smartphone’s and tablets to laptops and MP3 players.

The one time we can as families actually have a proper conversation, bind with each other and chat about our day is now vying for attention over technology. Now I recall as a young guy enjoying a few dinners in front of the television if a particular sporting event was on. However that was a treat and most certainly not the norm.

I read with interest what Katy Jones, Senior Brand Manager for Old El Paso said, “The problem of technology at the dinner table appears to be an increasing problem as our lives become more mobile. However, meal times are an important part of family life and should be a fun opportunity for everyone to get stuck in together.”

I can only concur. We’ve welcomed the whole social media assault. We’ve found it enlightening and a great way to communicate with our clients and suppliers. However if I have to vie with Facebook and Twitter after a busy day at work whilst looking to connect with my children then I for one am not happy!

I don’t want my conversations with my nearest and dearest to be stifled in favour of digital conversation – or is it communication? – with friends further afield.

I’ve heard that some parents have actually resorted to texting their children that dinner is ready or that it is time to leave the house. Too much for me!

I’m laying down some parameters. No technology at the dinner table, of course unless the call is for me!

Until next time…