Love, Self

Is Social Media Killing Your Relationship?

With the New Year comes in all those resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more, but what about social resolutions? Has your spouse or partner complained about your facebook use? In the age of technology with all this information and communication at our fingertips, are we really adding quality to our life by being plugged in 24/7 or destroying your relationships?

Sure facebook and instagram can be great ways of helping you connect with the world, but when does it become overkill? Have you ever gone out with your spouse or mate and noticed how many people are on dates sitting at the table while one or both of them have their nose buried in their phone? Maybe you're the one on your phone surfing the net while your date sits there with a bored gaze.

Some married couples can't even go out for a night away without one or both being attached to their phones and it's Facebook, emails, and texting non-stop. When you get home, do your children or spouse come in second behind you updating your Facebook status? Sometimes the answer is simple. Less is more. Less time on your social networking sites equals more quality time with your loved ones. Your husband might just want to relax with you and unplug. Maybe he just wants to vent about the days events and he can't get 5 minutes of quality time with you because you're too busy on twitter. If it's been a complaint in your relationship, maybe it's time to realize you might be addicted to social networking, and it's time to draw some parameters before your relationships continue to suffer.

Here are some easy tips to step away from the social media and give your partner the attention they need and deserve:

1. When you're on a date, refrain from texting or checking facebook at the table unless it's an emergency. The food may be horrible, but you can wait until you go home to spread the word. If you're watching a movie, hold your texts and facebooking until you get home. Whether you're married or just dating, the point is to be on your date, not be on your phone.

2. When you get home or your spouse/partner gets home for the day, be there for them. Save your facebooking for during the day when you're on your time (even if your time is consumed with work), or only spend a short amount of time catching up when your mate goes to take a shower or unwinds on their own. Be available for them if they want to talk. Have your meals together without your phone, spend time together after dinner watching tv or reading together, whatever it is that you both do, do it together, and leave Siri out of it.

3. Establish a time of the night when all devices get turned off for the remainder of the night. For example, my husband and I have agreed to not text or spend time on facebook or our computers after 10pm so that we can wind down together and go to bed together. There may be exceptions to this at times, but in general, it's worked very well for most couples I know that have done this.

4. Make a plan to spend no more than 30 minutes total per day on any of the social media sites. You'd be surprised how much of your own time you can reclaim by cutting out your usage.

Some signs you may be spending too much time on social media:

1. Your spouse/partner/friends complains that you're always on your phone, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

2. You jump the instant you get a mobile alert from facebook and have to check it or answer it.

3. You spend more than an hour per day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

4. You refuse to turn off your phone at night

5. You can't go at least 1 day without looking at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

If you fit one or more of these, you may need to examine how much of your quality time is spent on social media and consider cutting back. The point is to be present when you're out on a date, relaxing with your spouse or mate at home, or even out with your friends, be present and get off your phone! Life is happening right now! Many people are so busy trying to update their status and share it that they're forgetting to live it and how to really enjoy it.

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