Hysterical ads with Will Ferrell show what happens when we bring our phones to dinner.

A somber family sits around the dinner table. They pass dishes of food around in dark silence for a few moments before, finally, the little girl mutters, "I'm not hungry."

"I miss Daddy," she says.


"I know," her mom replies. "We all miss him."

Where's Dad? Dad (played by Will Ferrell) is ... actually sitting at the other end of the dinner table, alive and well. He's just too busy playing with Snapchat filters on his phone to bother interacting with his family.

And Ferrell plays the exaggeration to hilarious perfection:

GIF via Common Sense Media/YouTube.

The video is part of a new campaign called "Device Free Dinner."

It's meant to be a gentle reminder to all of us to be a little more present during family time. And before you go thinking this is another one of those needlessly shame-y cellphones-are-ruining-the-good-ol-days-of-how-things-used-to-be-better-in-the-past-when-I- was-a-kid or what have you, the benefits of being mindful about when we do and don't immerse ourselves in our phones are backed by some pretty powerful research.

Studies indicate we check our smartphones dozens and dozens of times per day, mostly out of pure habit, and that checking your phone can make you more anxious than usual. We spend two to five hours looking down at our devices in a given day. Another study shows that even children under 8 years old are spending up to two hours per day watching shows and playing games on mobile devices.

This deep level of distraction isn't always the best thing for building healthy relationships, especially those with your kids.

A recent study conducted on rats showed that when parents are distracted by other things during bonding time — even if the total amount of time spent together is high — outcomes for children can be worse. Simply put, the rat babies went on to "enjoy life" less than their peers.

The point of Ferrell's PSAs isn't that phones are bad — just that we should be deliberate about when we're checking them.

Most of us aren't willfully ignoring our children to mindlessly browse Facebook. And, besides, there are plenty of good and valid reasons to check your phone. We don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

The idea of setting aside some family time, like dinner, however, where everyone puts down their devices for a bit and focuses on spending quality time with each other is a good one. Committing to a #DeviceFreeDinner doesn't mean you have to do it every night or that you should never have your phone on hand in case of emergency. It's just one way of making sure you're carving out some time to spend with your family — without digital interruptions or cat face filters getting in the way.

Not convinced or just need a laugh? Check out the first Will Ferrell ad spot below, then watch the other ads in the series on YouTube.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.