Would you rather spend your evenings chatting with outsiders rather than talking to your spouse? Are you so distracted at bedtime that sex is off the agenda? If this is you, then you may well be suffering from ‘infomania’ – an unhealthy addiction to your smartphone and even other gadgets. Experts have warned that it could have serious consequences for your relationship.
We all know that technology has made life easier and better. So much so that one starts to wonder how we ever survived without our fancy toys.
Recently, I really became concerned about how much we now have to rely on technology to do literally everything for us, as research has shown that 21st century students have a much-reduced retentive ability than students of earlier times. I left my phone at home one early morning, while I was rushing for work and I felt miserably empty without my phone all day. Just as the Apple devotees allow ‘Siri’ to keep tabs on all the important details for them, Windows and Android phone makers are also ahead with the trend.
However, modern technology has also created its own problems for us. We are gradually allowing these gadgets to replace our real face-to-face communication, which is the basis of every thriving relationship.
It has become quite common to see couples out for dinner and each are busy on their own phones. It is also not strange to see moms with strollers walking their kids while texting. Even babies aren’t getting adequate attention from their parents or minders.
Technology also creates financial problems in families because most technologies are very expensive to buy and our friends at Silicon Valley are not resting. They are constantly bringing out their latest innovations. Techie addicts who cannot afford to keep up with this trend tend to live a stressful life. Other financial family needs get deprived due to the insatiable desire to keep up with the latest technology
Modern day manufacturers constantly argue that instant messaging and photo sharing platforms make people communicate more but the paradox of these mass communication technologies is that we are growing more distant from each other when we choose to make smartphones, computers, television, and the likes our primary means of communication.
Technology is a wonderful tool that is supposed to help us improve our quality of life; instead of that it is preventing us from continuing to be able to form meaningful relationships. I once heard about two ladies who were friends on Facebook and often hit the ‘like’ tab on each others’ photos but would not physically speak to one another, when they met at a public function. How shocking!
Don’t get me wrong, technologies are more beneficial than detrimental if properly employed but if they come in between our relationships, then their usage should be managed.
Here are some thoughts on ensuring effective technology use:
Set technology – free times
Ensure that everyday, with your spouse and kids, you have to turn the devices off. Take out time to focus on the family by doing fun things together. This is especially important for kids, too. As much as adults suffer from Internet addiction, they’re prone to it even more because they’re growing up with it. Teach them to limit it, and to turn to other things, like books, or they’ll end up unable to have real relationships in the future.
Do not allow technology in the bedroom; don’t give room for an Internet addiction
I recently read an interview of a man who was saying that at night, when he wanted to cuddle and pray, his wife would be on her phone. Couples should know that the computer is not for the bedroom and office work should never be completed in the bedroom. The bedroom needs to be inviting for intimacy between couples.
Try to go to bed at the same time
It’s so easy to get carried away with Facebook and Instagram and suddenly the hours have quickly gone by. The time before couples go to sleep should be considered as sacred, time to connect, pray, discuss, and even be intimate. That way, the technology won’t own you, you will own the technology.
Replace your Internet use with something else
Do you get restless or agitated if you haven’t been on Facebook in awhile? Do your need to Instagram all the time surpass any other daily need. It’s not a matter of going completely without, as much as it is about figuring out how to incorporate technology in a healthy way into your life. Instead of saying, “I have to quit the internet!” how about “I want to knit more,” or “I want to walk with my wife more,” or “I want to take up a new sport with my hubby.” In other words, do something.
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