Contributed by Sophia Morris
There’s a growing belief among many of us that technology is destroying the quality of our human interactions. That’s not to ignore the benefits. Technology allows us to stay in touch with old friends and remote family members like never before, and can keep us in touch with loved ones all day. However, there are also some detriments. When we gather together for meals and spend half the time on our smartphones, for instance, or have friends over only to watch a movie or a game on television, we’re missing out on genuine bonding time.
To counter this trend, we thought we’d write about a few fun ideas for socializing or hosting at home without the use of modern technology.
1. Install A Fire Pit
There might not be anything that facilitates a tech-free home gathering quite like a fire pit. It’s unclear why, but something about sitting around a fire just inspires ordinary conversation, and can often lead to long nights of bonding and laughter. Learning how to install a fire pit can be a challenge, but ultimately it can be done in a weekend, and if worst comes to worst you can always buy one that simply sits on the ground. Whatever the case, it’s a home addition you likely won’t regret. A backyard fire pit gives you and your friends a place to socialize on a regular basis.
2. Opt For Cooking Dinner Together
This is a somewhat vague idea, but there’s a lot of fun to be had by simply cooking dinner with your close friends or family members. So instead of inviting friends over for a set dinner or bringing food in while you watch a film or a game, consider having a sort of group cooking session. You need only buy some ingredients, ask that friends bring some as well, see what you have collectively, and start experimenting. Once you get started it’s actually a lot of fun, and you never know what delicious things you’ll come up with.
3. Host A Poker Night
A poker night is kind of an old school idea, but one that should never have gone out of fashion. A nice table, new cards, and a case full of chips to make the experience authentic make for a good start, but there are also steps you can take make sure the poker night is a real blast. For instance, you can spruce up the atmosphere to bring about lounge-like comfort; you can set betting limits in advance that everyone will be comfortable with (or bet with candy or something of the like); and you can make sure rules are on hand so there are no complications. With this little bit of preparation done you can have a smooth, enjoyable poker night that could even become a regular tradition for you and your friends.
4. Have A General Game Night
If the poker night sounds appealing, or if you’ve tried it and had fun with it, why not expand to a general game night? It’s a testament to the quality of classic board games that many of them have made comebacks in app and video game form. But there’s nothing that beats playing with an actual game board with friends and family. Whether it’s Risk, Monopoly, Life, Pictionary, or anything else you might enjoy, having a stack of board game boxes on hand for a social gathering is almost never a bad idea. For that matter there are even some more modern (and humorous) games like Cards Against Humanity and Secret Hitler that may appeal to younger groups as well.
5. Throw An Old Fashioned Barbecue
Finally, you can also simply throw a cookout! There’s really no technology to get in the way of this kind of home gathering, particularly if you and your friends agree to leave your phones inside. There are all kinds of fun ways to spice up a backyard BBQ, but all you really need is good company, good food, and a grill to have a very pleasant few hours of socializing. It’s simple, but it’s always a great time.