3 WAYS TECHNOLOGY RUINS INTIMACY
Don’t let your cell phone ruin your marriage.
By Taylor Fuqua
Nothing is more annoying than trying to spend quality time with your spouse or even trying to have a conversation with them, and they are twiddling their thumbs away on their phones. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, and news apps, can all shift the focus from you to what’s going on in their phone with the sound of a notification.
Technology has interfered dramatically with how we maintain intimacy in marriage. It has also affected how we participate in it. The easiest fix to this problem would be to get rid of it all, but, of course, the thought of having to give up the devices we are so profoundly connected with would be nearly impossible.
Technology has vastly evolved and become an essential part of how we move in today’s world. But when technology starts to impact intimacy in your marriage, things can get ugly quickly, and it’s something that has to be addressed.
The best way to make sure technology doesn’t kill the intimacy in your marriage is to be aware of the harmful impact it can have on your marriage. Here is a list of things you should be mindful of.
Technology ruins quality time.
Modern-day technology has made it nearly impossible for people to disconnect from their devices, especially when it comes to cell phones. If you’re spending time with your significant other and they are on their phone scrolling, it’s hard to believe that they’re paying attention to you. This can cause frustration within your marriage, and depending on how long this behavior has been going on, even cause you or your spouse to have a short fuse with each other.
Technology ruins quality time because it quickly shifts the focus from you and your spouse to what’s going on on their phone, on their laptop, the TV, etc. You and your spouse should never have to compete for each other’s attention, especially when both of you are committed to spending time together. Technology can cause interruptions to quality time with your spouse, and each disruption will gradually diminish the intensity of your connection.
Psychologist Sheryl Kingsber says, “Texting at the dinner table, or if we go out to dinner with our partner and we have our cell phone out there, and we’re focusing more on who’s texting and who’s emailed us than having that intimate conversation. So it’s really important that technology has its place, and sometimes that place is either in your purse or in your pocket.”
It promotes laziness in your marriage.
A majority of the reason we are so obsessed with technology is because of how easy it can make our lives, but when it comes to our relationships and marriages, it can also make us lazy. Over time we have found that it’s easier to tell someone Happy Birthday by posting a pre-made message on Facebook or telling our spouse we love them through a text when they are not even six feet away. A lot of things that should be done in person, such as talking and sharing emotions, are done through text messaging.
Talking to your spouse through text isn’t replacing the quality time you should be spending together. Text messages don’t nearly mean as much as they do when the words are said in person. Genuine love and affection can’t be given virtually.
Leave texting for small insignificant things you and your partner may share throughout the day or week. Please wait until you’re face to face to shower them with compliments or discuss important issues. A lot of times, messages can be misread when they are sent through a text. This can create a lot of problems within your marriage. If this is a habit that you have within your marriage, break out of it fast. Both of you should feel comfortable enough to have conversations in person instead of texting, and if you’re not, this is a sign of a greater communication problem within your marriage. If it’s something where you don’t have the opportunity to say it in person, pick up the phone and call them. It makes a world of difference.
Technology opens the floodgates for outside pressures.
Sometimes we force things we see on social media or TV onto our marriages without even realizing it. We see things that look good online and want to incorporate them. “So and so looks happy because they are doing XYZ, maybe I should do that too, and my marriage would look like that.” We create these false realities and expectations for our real lives based on what someone else may be portraying online. When we create unrealistic expectations, we hold our spouses or marriages to a standard that harms us more than does good.
We sometimes forget just how much technology impacts our lives, and because it’s gradually become a part of our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget the negative impact it can have on our marriage. Intimacy is an essential part of marriage, and it’s about being close to your spouse. The distraction technology can cause can ruin not only intimacy but can also be detrimental to the marriage.
It’s essential to recognize how technology can negatively impact your marriage, and be proactive with what you’re doing to make sure that it doesn’t. Setting boundaries with your spouse when it comes to how and when you’re using technology is a great way to make sure your marriage is preserved. Things such as no technology in the bedroom and no cell phones during dinner are a few rules you can enforce to ensure that your time together is kept sacred.
Hold each other accountable for the boundaries you set and you will notice the deepening of your connection. Technology creates distance between you and your spouse, and over time distance will cause you to grow apart. If you want to grow happily within your marriage, setting boundaries with technology will be vital in protecting the intimacy you share.