Unexpectedly Intriguing!
November 25, 2015

Here at Political Calculations, we sometimes live up to the "political" part of our name by taking on, shall we say, delicate topics, where by delicate we occationally mean "really personal".

And what can be more personal than addressing the proverbial turkey on the table every Thanksgiving, the lurking dangers of all the interpersonal interactations that can explode into open conflict as you join your family for your annual holiday feast.

That can be especially challenging in 2015, because thanks to the explosion of the mobile web, many of your family members are unable to go more than a few minutes without some sort of tech-channeled stimulation.

Today everyone is constantly plugged in. We have laptops, smartphones, iPads, ipods, work computers, television, TiVo for on-demand television watching, and Redbox video rental kiosks on every corner. This constant need to be preoccupied with electronic toys is leading to the breakdown of our community ties, and it is likely a strong piece of the puzzle in the ADHD epidemic that seems to be overtaking our society. It seems that excessive use of technology can be harmful to our extended social support systems, and our cognitive development.

Even though many people will argue that technology helps them keep in touch with loved ones easier, there still seems to be a breakdown in social connection. Yes, you can email your family often and text your daughter to see if she is home from school all while you are sitting in a meeting at work. But this is your immediate social support system. Your community is composed of individuals who live in your town. Your relations within your community are extended social support. However, it seems like there has been a gradual breakdown of interest in developing relationships with neighbors, or those you see on the streets everyday.

So in the interest of improving your family's cohesion through real-time, tech-free social interaction, today, we're going to feature Adam Conover's three-minute exercise designed specifically for the tech-addicted so they can begin developing the skills needed to be able to go without that wi-fi or mobile connection for the sake of direct, face-to-face interactions with other human beings in real life, even if just for a few minutes. Good luck....

If you're a tech addict, we appreciate just how hard that was for you. That one ten second long period of silence really did feel like an hour had passed, didn't it?

But you've made it through, so that means that you have a chance - a real chance - of surviving your family's Thanksgiving dinner in 2015. And if you're up for the challenge, if you want to improve your odds even more, go ahead and watch it again. Otherwise, your Thanksgiving dinner experience could turn out like the one portrayed in the following video.

If you fear that sort of calamity taking place at your family's Thanksgiving dinner this year, we'll point you to Doc Palmer's suggestions for putting yourself in the right frame of mind to avoid that kind of outcome altogether.


About Political Calculations

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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