A friend of mine recently asked my opinion on having mobile phones in the bedroom. It is a really great question, and it opened a whole can of worms for me personally in my own relationship.
I recently left a job that required a REALLY high level of engagement from me on Facebook, coupled with my own business (where I am on Facebook and Twitter, email, or otherwise online for most of my day).
Basically, I spend A LOT of time on social media.
I find myself apologizing to my guy a lot. I know I'm always posting, always on my phone when we're together. He tells me not to worry, babe, it's fine. It's work.
The truth is, it really f*cking isn’t.
I am not working. It's a compulsion. That's why we're on social media so much. How many likes did a post get? What was the reach? Did I get any comments and how fast can I respond?
It's so self serving, the exact opposite of “connection” that social media purports to create. In fact, for a long time, checking social media accounts has often been the first thing I do when I wake up, and the last thing before I go to sleep. Not actual human interaction, but checking to see how much attention I'm getting.
When I first got into my current relationship, we spent a lot of our time together unplugged. No TV. No phones. No computers. When we were together we would listen to music, talk, laugh, or simply enjoy each others company in silence.
There is such deep intimacy in sharing silence and space together.
But slowly, slowly, slowly ... the tweets creep in. You post on Instagram and need to check every notification. One peek at your phone during dinner turns into holding your fork with one hand and swiping with your other. And your partner is on the other side of the table doing the exact SAME thing.
I set myself a boundary more than once this year that my phone is not allowed in the bedroom. And I keep breaking it. I read my Kindle, chat on Twitter, surf the web.
So here is my confession: I do it deliberately to disconnect from the world.
I do it when I don't want to think, talk, or connect—even with my partner.
When I've have had a big day or I'm just really tired, I turn my brain off. Because it is easy. But I'm done.
This is my public outing, and my commitment to myself, my health, and my sex life.
How can I expect to have a great love life, a great connection, when I constantly feel the need to disconnect from it all? A commitment is a commitment. You can't use social media to just escape for a bit. You're in it until the end and I want to honor that.
STOP using your phone at the dinner table. DON'T bring Facebook into bed with you. You're lying beside each other at night, both looking at different screens for connection.
Why do it when you can just connect with the person who's right next to you? That's why you got into a relationship isn't it? It's so tempting the idea that you can have a thousand people vying for your attention, but in exchange you're neglecting the one person who you actually said yes to dating.
THAT'S the person you need to be connecting with.
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This article was originally published at The Sugar Doctor. Reprinted with permission from the author.