Monday, June 30, 2014

Technology Timeout

People are glued to their phones and technology. One poll shows that 47% of Americans believe that they could not go one day without their smartphone. With a lot of business and communication occurring through our smartphones and computers, technology is certainly critical to modern life. However, one question I think everyone needs to ask is how much should technology and social media play a role in your relationship with your spouse or significant other? 

Marisa knows my biggest pet peeve: using her phone to text other people or check Facebook when we are on a date. Since we do not live together and are not married, our official dates together are very special and important to both of us. While I do not mind if she checks her phone if someone texts her once and I am not bothered if she checks social media during a transition in the date (e.g. me driving us somewhere), I get very irritated when she (or anyone else in a relationship, for that matter) checks their technology during a date. 

I definitely check my technology during dates too, but I try to keep it to a bare minimum. My personal belief is when you are on a date with someone, they deserve your undivided attention. You should not be talking to anyone else through texting or social media unless it is an absolute emergency. Whenever I go out and observe couples, it never fails that I often see two people glued to their technology while out on a date and, thus, they not glued to each other! 

My Aunt Lyda who is a psychologist in California has something she calls "techno-ten" during dinner time. Whenever I and my family are on vacation at Lyda's home, she always declares a techno-ten before dinner time and takes all of our technology and places it into a bowl where we cannot access it for any reason. After dinner, which usually lasts a little more than ten minutes (hence techno-ten), everyone is able to get their technology back. However, we often find ourselves really engaged with one another and instead of going back to our technology we want to spend more time together after dinner by playing a board game or simply chatting. 

When you put your technology down for just a short period of time during a date, you may be surprised to find out how much you and your spouse or significant other have to talk about! We live in a world where everything has to be interconnected. We want to use social media and our phones to be with multiple people at once. How about embracing the good old fashioned tradition of being solely with the person you are spending time with at that very moment? 

I encourage you to embrace the idea of a "Technology Timeout." Like Marisa and me, you and your spouse or significant other can make this a daily commitment where you can spend time together free from other social connections, or you can embrace this as a policy for dates. For me, I personally find that whenever I am with Marisa I do not want to check Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and texts at all. Marisa is a gem to me, so why would I compromise the time I have with her to spend time in a virtual relationship with other friends at that moment? 

You can't be in two places at once. You can either be glued to your spouse or glued to your technology. Do you want to be with your spouse and spend time devoted to them, or are your commitments to your social media network and contacts more important to you? 

No comments:

Post a Comment