Digital Makeover: Play the Phone Stacking Game #30DaysofGOOD

Posted by Eric Steuer and Jessica De Jesus

30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD) is our monthly attempt to live better. This month we're focused on improving the way we use technology.

Earlier this year, many blogs and news sites reported about the rise of "the phone stacking game." In this friendly competition, a group of pals gets together for a meal, and each person is required to place their phone on the table facedown in a stack. Foodbeast explains the rules:

[A]s the meal progresses, you will all inevitably hear phone notifications going off. Texts, calls, Tweets, Facebook Notifications. But you’re not allowed to check your device. … You’ll spend all dinner almost-reaching for your phone. What’s holding you back from picking up your machine and checking it? The punchline that is: first person who touches their phone, picks up the tab for the entire table.

This weekend, your task is to get a group of pals together for a round of the phone stacking game. Or better yet, tell your friends to leave their gadgets at home, and plan a totally device-free dinner.

To brace yourself for the shock of going phoneless, read Jenna Wortham's recent celebration of JOMO (aka the Joy of Missing Out): "Turn Off the Phone (and the Tension)."

Would you do away with your phone if it meant getting a discount on your dinner bill? Check out this interview with Los Angeles restauranteur Mark Gold, who has implemented a policy of giving customers 5% off the price of their meals if they agree to leave their phones at the door.

If you're up for taking on a bigger tech-free commitment, you might consider the Digital Detox Retreat, a "personal wellness retreat where attendees give up their smart-phones and gadgets in exchange for four days of serenity and bliss." GOOD is working with the people behind this program on an upcoming Digital Makeover post, so stay tuned.