About a month ago I realized something had to change. I was too tied to my phone. Too distracted. Too stressed out. So I put my phone away for three days. Literally, I locked it in a safe, and it was awesome. And then I decided to stop sleeping with it right next to me on the nightstand. I need the alarm, though, so I just put it on the dresser on the other side of the room.
And then I read this:
“In a much-discussed 2014 study, Virginia Tech psychologist Shalini Misra and her team monitored the conversations of 100 couples in a coffee shop and identified ‘the iPhone Effect’: The mere presence of a smartphone, even if not in use — just as an object in the background — degrades private conversations, making partners less willing to disclose deep feelings and less understanding of each other, she and her colleagues reported in Environment and Behavior.”
“…as relationship researcher John Gottman has documented, the unstructured moments that partners spend in each other’s company, occasionally offering observations that invite conversation or laughter or some other response, hold the most potential for building closeness and a sense of connection. Each of those deceptively minor interludes is an opportunity for couples to replenish a reservoir of positive feelings that dispose them kindly to each other when they hit problems.”
Those “unstructured moments” and “minor interludes” are what smartphones destroy. And that’s really sad, because today’s hurried marriages and friendships could really use those moments and interludes!
I don’t want to be “absent present.” I don’t want to photograph my kid’s childhood instead of really seeing my child. I don’t want to be thinking about how this will look on Instagram when I should be thinking, “I’m so glad I get to be here.” Am I doing this thing with my kid so my Facebook friends can see it?
I want Elizabeth to feel listened to and heard, down in her soul. I want “spending time together” to mean more than “browsing Facebook together.”
What about you? Is your smartphone your first love? Really? Do you need to ban all smartphones from the kitchen/dining room?
I’m afraid too much tech use is like carbon monoxide poisoning: the first symptom is that you stop recognizing symptoms.
Do you need to recognize symptoms? Do you need to try shifting things for a week or two?
Is it possible that you don’t even know what you’re missing?
Try it for a week or two and see what happens. And then FB message me and let me know how it went. : )
all for ONE,
Both quotes above are from the article, Love Interruptus, which appeared in the August 2016 edition of Psychology Today. It is available online under the title, The New Menage a Trois.