Have you ever been ignored by someone who was too busy checking Reddit or texting to listen to the climax of your story?
Ever been totally transfixed and lost in a moment in time with someone only to look over and see them leaving a comment on Facebook?
Have you ever gone out of your way to do something nice for someone only to have a phone call interrupt what you had planned?
I think we have all been there, and if we haven’t experienced this personally, there is a pretty good chance that we have at least done this to someone we know. Nowhere are the effects of this type of behavior more evident than in people’s relationships.
In the beginning of most relationships we hang on every word our lover speaks. We sometimes place them on a pedestal and make them the center of our universe (while this isn’t always healthy), this is a huge source of emotional stimulation for us in the beginning; but over time we tend to take our lovers for granted.
Sure, there are times you may need to check your phone, take an important phone call, or respond to a text message, but perhaps it isn’t how frequently we use technology that really affects our relationships, but rather it is when we choose to engage in these types of activities.
I am not proposing in this article that you throw away all of your technology and run away with your lover into the woods for a life hermitude, I am merely suggesting that you select times that technology should be excluded from, so that you can focus more fully on that special person that you love.
How technology is hurting your relationship
Technology is nothing more than a sometimes useful way stimulate yourself. Much like people eat junk food because it tastes good, bully others because it makes them feel better about themselves, or smoke a cigarette because it calms their nerves, we often use technology as a form of mental stimulation that makes us feel good. Sure technology can actually help us learn, maintain meaningful relationships, or accomplish important tasks, but how much easier is it to just seek out that quick fix of entertainment?
Every text message is a sign from the universe that we are important, every like on our Instagram page is a symbol for how cool we are, every article we read from IFL (I fucking love science) establishes that we are a master of the quantum world…
Not only does social media and human interaction make us feel good, but we can also spend hours watering our plants in farm world, spend weeks crushing candy, or spend our lunch break catching up on the latest cat videos on Youtube.
Smart phones, computers, televisions: these pieces of technology (along with many other forms of technology in existence and those soon to be in existence) have been able to advance mankind into worlds that we never before would have dreamed were possible. We are practically living in the Jetsons!
The cost of having endless distractions, endless possibilities, endless stimulation and sources of love and acceptance is that we often neglect the “real” moments of human interaction that exist in each passing moment.
Many times these superficial distractions and stimulations are easier and more simple than real life relationships and interactions.
It is far easier to watch a love story on Netflix than it is to create one, and it is far easier to admire the plastic supermodel on Instagram than it is to see the beautiful woman sitting in front of you. All technology does in your relationship is take the focus away from that one special person that you are spending your life with as they are sitting right across from you.
The solution to your technology problems: pick times to unplug.
Create some rules and guidelines together that you can both agree upon (don’t try to force rules onto someone else, it doesn’t work).
Maybe you and your partner can agree that dinner time should be a distraction free time, or maybe you should make your weekly date night technology free. Maybe you can both agree that after 8pm every evening the cell phones, laptops, video games, and televisions get turned off and you do something together or as a family.
Technology is a great development for mankind, and the problem lies less in its existence and far more rests within our inaction to create times that are free from distraction.
If you take a look I am sure you will find that there are many moments that perhaps you could have listened more attentively, there were times where you could have been more present, maybe there were times that you missed totally when someone was reaching out to you, but your were too focused on your phone, tablet, or computer to notice or care.
At any given time there are an endless number of distractions competing for your attention; rather than trying give up technology completely, just choose to make some times that will focus your attention onto one of the things that matters more than anything else: your lover.
If the idea of taking a few hours out of your day to spend some time focused on the person you are spending your life with doesn’t excite you, then that really says something in itself…maybe you need to reexamine what that person means to you…are you neglecting to realize how great they are or could it be time to part ways?
If the excitement is fading and the feelings of love and romance are growing cold, try unplugging for a few hours each day and focusing on the special person in your life again. If its been long enough, you might be surprised to realize how much the person has changed…maybe you can fall in love all over again, but that’s all up to you.
Everything you need to feel loved, happy, and content exists within this moment that you are in right now. Embrace those special moments you spend with the people you love, because in the end that is all our lives are made of…these tiny little moments stitched together like the frames in a movie reel.
I invite you to check out some of these other posts to find some awesome ways to rebuild your relationship and reignite the passion that you once shared with your lover. Ways to reignite the passion, 8 habits that steal your relationship satisfaction, 10 ways to maintain a long-term relationship