Is digital distraction messing with your intimacy?
What is the fallout/toll on the future of couples' happiness if real face time is so difficult to achieve, in part, because of our digital devices? If we can't learn to manage our addiction to constant stimulus where are we headed? Imagine a relationship that survives by texting. Without body language, intonation, nuance and emotion we are relegated to interpreting symbols. Nothing will ever replace the human touch. Think about how many times words you have texted were taken the wrong way. (Remember digging out from that mess??)
Cell phones are great for remembering things and reminding us of appointments (like birthdays and anniversaries, even what your partner's favorite gift is), but they can not feel. We have to leave the feelings, thoughts, and meaning to the humans.
If we want to fully understand the effect of cell phones on our relationships, I am suggesting that you try the following experiment. For three days, do these things and see what you think at the end of it.
Before you start this short period detox from digital devices, think connection to your partner as the overriding goal—and during the steps, continue to think about connection (just not the kind AT&T provides). All of the suggestions below are about maintaining the bond between you and your mate. These steps will reveal to you what you are missing and hopefully will build respect for the real intimacy your relationship needs.
Write down how close you feel on a 1-10 scale at the beginning of the experiment and then at the end.
Digital Detox Steps for Your Relationship
1. Turn off your cell phone during contact with humans, especially during meals, or at times when you are actually having a conversation.
2. Use your phone for phone calls only.
3. Take a half hour a day for quiet reflection. (No TV on.)
4. During that reflection time, write down your thoughts and feelings.
5. Take a daily walk with your partner and leave your cell phone at home.
6. Make a list of activities that you engaged in instead of being on the phone or on the computer. How many included your partner?
Interestingly, folks, the iPhone has an "accept" or "ignore" button. I recommend the latter when you are with your partner. No exceptions unless a family member is hanging from a ledge and they need you to talk them down.
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This article was originally published at Care2. Reprinted with permission from the author.