Enter the Pearl Dish.
When friends and family visit, there’s a non-negotiable offering of phones to the Pearl Dish gods. Obviously, if someone is staying for several days then mealtimes become obligatory Pearl Dish occasions but we can be more lenient the rest of the time. It’s lovely watching the conversation grow, the warmth of people who are actually investing in being present and engaging fully, often sparked initially by the seeming eccentricity of the Pearl Dish, with its striking style and unique purpose. Once the phones are in the Pearl Dish though, people rarely want to take them back. No one is snapchatting in the corner or watching the football on their phone under the table or regaling us verbatim with political tracts (not that there’s anything wrong with these activities, but there is a time and a place and to my mind it is not the dining table…)
Even away from group contexts, the Pearl Dish has made a difference. I know that exposure at night to the blue light emitted by phones makes it harder to sleep, but on those nights when I can’t sleep, I often find myself reaching for my phone, exacerbating the problem. I keep it by my bed, justifying its presence because it is my alarm clock. But recently I have changed up my habit. My phone serves just as well as an alarm from inside the Pearl Dish, better in fact. The effort to lift the lid and extract my phone when it rings, especially when I leave it further away from my bed, mean that I am less likely to just press snooze or laze around in bed checking all my social media feeds. In the evenings, with my phone snuggly tucked away in its Pearl Dish, I reach for a book instead.