Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi Zuckerberg, the editor of lifestyle blog Dot Complicated raised an interesting point on her blog recently, stating that she thinks Instagramming on Thanksgiving should be banned. She wrote, “May I so boldly suggest that this Thanksgiving, we focus on one-on-one conversations, instead of broadcasting our lives to the masses. Yes, I do mean eating your Thanksgiving dinner instead of live-updating from the table. And calling or Skyping a loved one directly instead of shouting ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to your followers . . .”
One person who will be Instagramming this Thanksgiving, apparently? Martha Stewart. When the homemaking guru was on the Today show recently she shared: “I’m going to take a lot more pictures on Thanksgiving. So all of you out there who love my photos, just watch.”
It got us thinking about modern day Thanksgiving etiquette. We all know to wait to eat until is everyone is seated, and what fork to use, but with the rapid advent of social media, and constant smartphone use, there is naturally a lot of confusion around what is appropriate at the dinner table.
Instagram was founded in 2010, but the Instagramming of Thanksgiving really kicked into overdrive last year. Oprah Winfrey shared photos of herself stirring cranberry sauce with her her followers, while Ryan Seacrest showed off his opulent buffet table. Us lay people also got in on the action Instagramming photos of us cooking and our brimming Thanksgiving plates.
We don’t think we are going to convince anyone to stay off social media altogether this holiday, but here is our suggestion: If you must be on Instagram, we suggest sharing one photo, one photo only, and then putting your device away for the duration of the meal (that means no Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, et al). Others at your dinner table might not be able to forgo their smartphone use, but your stance will be one in the right direction. And who knows, you might actually have an interesting conversation with your family this year. Fingers crossed.