Is Technology Ruining Your Relationship?


Four ways to stop technology from dominating your life and destroying relationships.

Is your tablet your constant companion? Are you spending huge chunks of your spare time "crushing candy?" Do you converse with Siri more than your own spouse? If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be allowing technology to destroy your relationships with your nearest and dearest. If you don't do something about it, you may find yourself alone. And Siri won't keep you warm at night--no matter what she tells you.

Stop blowing into your paper bag. No one expects you to give up technology completely. By simply changing when and where you use it, you can greatly improve your personal relationships--and decrease the likelihood of growing old alone.

1. Live in the moment.

You rarely see the hero of a romantic film pause to take an Instagram shot of the big first kiss. Nor will you catch him tweeting it to his friends. Unfortunately, in the real world, people interrupt life's big moments to do exactly that. They fail to savor the moment in favor of "sharing" it with their online crowd.

The best antidote for this is to put the mobile devices away and share the moment later--much later--when you're alone. Or don't share it at all. Some things are meant to be left unshared.

2. Be present when you're present.

There is nothing more annoying than taking the time to meet with a friend, only to play second fiddle to her cell phone. If you are one of those people who must continuously check their messages while you're with your friends, you may find yourself "friendless" down the road.

The best way to avoid offending your friends is to turn your phone off and show them that you value your time together. Tuning in to your relationships and giving them your full attention will greatly improve their quality.

3. Accomplish things in the "real" world.

Online games are tremendously addictive. If left unchecked, these virtual adventures can suck up so much of your time that you have none left for the real world. It's time to go to bed and you've barely spoken to your spouse. You have nothing to show for the evening but a completed game level or a cyber-mission.

Instead of devoting your time to solitary online play, try doing something that you can do as a couple. Bring out a board game, a deck of cards, or a engage in a match of Wii Tennis. The rewards reaped from time spent together will far outweigh the ones bestowed upon your avatar.

4. Use your online time wisely.

If you have a tendency to use your laptop to look things up online as they arise, you are asking for trouble. Odds are that once you've started up your machine, you are going to want to do other things like check your social media accounts, your e-mail, and maybe even complete a level of Candy Crush. And, once again, your relationships are put on the back burner.

Instead, keep a sheet of paper next to your computer and write down any topics that you want to look up online. This will allow you to make better use of your time and spend more of it with the people that matter most.

Pastor Ed Young Jr. warns against allowing technology to become wrecknology in our lives. If you value your relationships, it is important that you make them your priority. Put the laptop away. Turn off the phone. And tell Siri to take a hike. After all, you've got places to go and people to see.

What do you think is the biggest problem with cell phone use today?