How Dolmio tried to make mealtimes technology free

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How Dolmio tried to make mealtimes technology free

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Broadly speaking I am a huge fan of smartphones and the vast array of functionality they bring to our lives.  As with most good things however, there is often a time when it gets a bit too much.

One of those is when people are socializing with a friend or friends, and rather than talking to each other, they’re heads are stuck in their phones, presumably having conversations with people that aren’t with them at the time.

It’s an anti-social behavior that drives Jitka and I nuts.  There are a number of projects that are aiming to strike back against this nefarious habit.

I wrote last year, for instance, about a temporary cafe that setup in Canada that was built inside a Faraday cage, which blocks all mobile transmissions from entering or leaving the cafe.  So no phone calls, no text messages, no mobile browsing.  You’re literally forced to be in the moment with your colleagues.

The social pepper pot

Of course, such anti-social behaviors are not confined to cafes and restaurants.  In many ways, things can be even worse during family meals at home.

The food brand Dolmio has launched a new marketing campaign in Australia to try and restore mealtimes as the social heart of our day.

At the center of the campaign is what the company are calling the Dolmio Pepper Hacker, which is a standard pepper grinder, albeit with a technology off switch built into it that allows parents to ‘turn off’ technology for 30 minutes over mealtimes.

To activate the device, you simply twist it as you would a normal pepper grinder, thus adding some seasoning to your food whilst also dulling the technological deluge.

As part of the campaign, the company gave the devices to a number of households and filmed the results.

Now, it should be said that the device was only capable of turning off devices that were either plugged into the mains or were connected to the AirWatch app, so it’s quite possible that your son or daughter’s smartphones would escape unscathed, but it’s a nice campaign that will hopefully prompt people to start using their technology a little bit more socially.

Check out the advert below and let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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