DIGITAL DETOX: Garage Bar asks patrons to put away phones
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- We've all done it: used our phones, iPads and laptops rather than paying attention to the person right next to us.
That's why Garage Bar in Louisville hosted a Digital Detox Wednesday night.
For one night only, all the patrons vowed to put down their mobile devices and enjoy some good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction.
"We were really worried when people came in, they would be a little feisty about giving their phones or putting them away because we're all so attached to them so we were really, really lucky that everyone was so supportive and actually excited about it," said Garage Bar general manager Megan Breier.
Breier says the staff has been observing customers and how they interact with one another.
They realized the quality conversations spark when technology is absent.
"It came from that need to ask those questions instead of 'oh, I'll go to their Facebook page and see what they like' instead of asking the person what they genuinely enjoy," Breier told WDRB.
WDRB's Emily Mieure decided to participate. It meant no texting, no tweeting and taking notes with a pen and paper, so she asked customers to try and remember what they did before smart phones.
"That's a hard question. I honestly don't know," said Nicole LeMaster.
LeMaster and her friends say they've enjoyed having a reason to disconnect.
"I get caught all the time looking at my phone, checking it every 10 to 15 minutes and the fact that I have turned it off and put it away, it's kind of like a weight off of your shoulders," she said.
"The fact that I can actually have a conversation with my girlfriends and enjoy a night where we don't have to be distracted with our cell phones going off or with social media," said Leslie Spradley.
Garage Bar was prepared for the event, posting reminder signs and having games and crafts on hand to encourage people to use their hands for other reasons than texting.
"We went and played arts and crafts, blew up some balloons, popped a few, came back and ordered some drinks and food," said Spradley.
They also planted questions on each table for conversation starters.
"We've kind of gone from being really serious and sentimental to being extremely open and funny and ridiculous," Spradley told WDRB.
"I honestly enjoy not having my phone," said LeMaster.
Patrons admitted that it's second nature to want to check your phone, but to ignore for a few hours, they say, is good for the soul.
"You should be able to give your attention to the people that you're talking to."
Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.