Don't feel guilty about your lust for the internet. Just make sure you invite your true babe.
By now, most married couples engage in social media BUT the key is making sure your duo's social media usage is harnessed for the positive. Here are a few questions to assess your social media and internet usage as a partner in marriage. Each question is followed by tips about how this prevalent form of communication can make you feel more connected as a married couple.
1. When you come home at the end of your day, do you check social media before speaking with your partner?
Totally understandable! Many of us want to feel like we've covered other social aspects of our lives before connecting back with our partners. If we don't fulfill this need, there's an internal, nagging urge, screeching out: "Oh, can I JUST check my email/Facebook/Twitter Feed and then I'll be available…"
What to do? First of all, feel no guilt. You can check social media and email before reuniting with your partner at the end of the day. Just do the check-ins before you get home. Dedicate 10-15 minutes to this — let's be honest, the internet check-ins can be completed in this timeframe. If your partner does the same, you'll both reconnect without lingering questions about the status of your social media and email. You'll be free.
Once you're home, set aside at least one hour when you and your partner are not using social media, and are in fact, communication-technology free (read: that's no cell phones). You're just there for, and with, each other. Same goes with children — it's helpful to cease technology check-ins during the come-home-from-extracurriculars/homework/dinner/bedtime rush hour. They. Need. You.
2. Are you using social media and the internet for having fun together?
Why not? The Internet is the new TV. You can sit down in front of the laptop or tablet, together —with a glass of wine, hot chocolate, or lemonade in hand, depending on your mode. Snuggle up and share a few highlighted memes from your day, watch a movie or TV show, or write to mutual friends together. Interact with the technology, together. Just remember — have fun together with the screen only after those couple of hours together, sans screen.This way, again, you're guilt. free.
3. Are you regularly using social media to say "I Love You"?
This just might be the easiest habit to change! Research shows that sharing positive reinforcement can improve your outlook, and your relationship. Make a point to share small signs of love more often, and configure automatic reminders (as in calendar appointments with alarms) for yourself if you need to.
In addition, make a habit of reaching out to your spouse during social media or internet usage throughout your day. Check in to ask how their day is going, or to simply tell them you are thinking of them. Best of all, use the three most cherished words: I Love You. Try once/day, or once every few days, at different times, so as to make the element of surprise part of the continual intrigue.
Thankfully, the internet can have extremely positive influences on marriage. When used in a guilt-free, prudent fashion, social media, email and website perusal can even make couples closer. Simply having the conversation about how you'd like to balance social media usage helps send the message that no one is more important to you than your partner.
This article was originally published at aliciaclarkpsyd.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.