In her recent letter of gratitude, Charmin Calamaris, editorial director for the Momiverse, wrote, “Because we are so inundated with media – television, radio, film, video, print, photography, and electronic – I invite you to join me in unplugging this Thanksgiving.”
Thanksgiving Unplugged is a bold campaign created by etiquette experts Diane Gottsman and Thomas P. Farley to challenge Americans to disconnect from their digital devices before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of fixing their gazes on LCD screens or popping in earbuds, families will commit to focusing on giving thanks, savoring a good meal and enjoying the company of their relatives and friends. Freed from the increasingly inescapable distraction of cell phones, laptops, tablets, hand-held games, music players, social media and the web, families will once again reconnect with the true spirit of the holiday.
These two experts know a thing or two about etiquette.
Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas. Diane travels nationally teaching corporations and universities in the finer points of etiquette. She has written a book titled Pearls of Polish: Graceful Solutions to Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas, which is now in its second printing. Diane also recently launched her own line of stationery, Sincerely Yours.
“So much time and energy goes into the preparation of a Thanksgiving dinner,” says Diane. “And yet, we miss a golden opportunity for quality catch-up with our loved ones when we spend more time focused on our devices than on what is on our plates – not to mention taking time to appreciate the ones who actually cooked the meal.”
Thomas P. Farley was the overseer of Town & Country Magazine’s Social Graces column from 2000 to 2008. Known as “Mister Manners,” Thomas is passionate about promoting the message of common consideration. His Town & Country book, Modern Manners: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Social Graces, went into multiple printings. He is also a featured contributor to The Experts Guide to Doing Things Faster.
“I grew tired of sitting through meals where I’d turn to speak at someone only to realize they were already engaged in a “conversation”…with their smartphone,” says Farley. “Thanksgiving seemed the ideal time for all of us to take a step back and reclaim a piece of our own humanity.”
We invite you to visit the Thanksgiving Unplugged website and Facebook and Twitter pages. Download a pledge form for you and your family members to sign, promising to unplug from your devices for the duration of your Thanksgiving meal. As a bonus, if you join the Thanksgiving Unplugged mailing list, you’ll receive an illustrative guide containing conversation starters and activity suggestions for keeping the family engaged and entertained in the absence of electronics.
After Thanksgiving, share your photos and stories of how you celebrated the holiday “unplugged” on Facebook and Twitter and tell Diane and Thomas how you plan to carry some of the lessons learned from the unplugging experience into your day-to-day lives.
Please join us as we partner with Diane Gottsman and Thomas P. Farley on this crusade. The campaign is entirely free, but the results will be priceless.