On Thanksgiving day and during the gingerbread house party today I put a bowl out and asked everyone to put their cell phone or equivalent device inside. The deal was they could only answer it if it rings. The intent was to remove an easy distraction and guide everyone towards socializing with everyone else.
The reactions differed a lot by age group. The adults were fine with this and thought it was a good idea. The teens and young adults were hesitant to depart with their electronic tethers and yet they somehow managed to get by without them for a few hours. Every once in a while you'd hear the bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz as a phone received a text and nobody paid it any mind. Nice.
Kathy had the idea of marketing a bowl for this purpose. We started into an as-seen-on-TV sales pitch.
"Order now and for the same low price of $19.99 we'll send you a second cell phone bowl free! Just pay shipping and handling. Here's what our customers have to say."
Woman holding a bowl at the front door while people file out: "I didn't want my guests to stay past 9:00 so I told them that the first ones to leave could get a free upgrade by getting first choice. Thanks, cell phone bowl!"
Genius, eh? There's an easy million bucks.