How Your Cell Phone Hurts Your Relationships
Even with the most devoted couples, it seems that once-common conversations in bed have been replaced with endless scrolling through social media apps or funny image-based sites – individually. Most of us are no stranger to this scenario: A group of friends sits down to a meal together, laughing, swapping stories, and catching up on the news – but not necessarily with the people in front of them! Nowadays, it’s not unusual to have one’s phone handy on the table, easily within reach for looking up movie times, checking e-mails, showing off photos, or taking a call or two. It’s a rare person who doesn’t give in to a quick glance at the phone every now and then. A growing body of research indicates that your cell phone habits could be sinking your relationship.
- Lack of Mindfulness A smartphone is a modern day distraction that is so common, it’s hardly noticed any more. It accompanies us wherever we go, demanding our attention multiple times a day. A phone call, a Facebook notification, oh look someone just pinned my cake pops recipe! We become irrevocably immersed in our digital lives, prioritizing the virtual world over anything else. Is it really that important to Instagram your dinner, rather than actually savoring it and sharing your impressions – or maybe a forkful of the dish – with the person next to you?
- Loss of Communication Smartphones can be the culprit of communication breakdown among couples. Intimacy is hard to achieve or maintain when your phone keeps beeping with alerts, notifications and email reminders. A constant, merciless distraction, our smartphones have come to replace deep-felt, long conversations in view of non-urgent, shallow tasks; retweeting a fun tweet, updating your Facebook status for the 136th time. In fact, some people talk more about their relationships on Facebook than they do face-to-face with the person they’re actually in a relationship with! We’re becoming so obsessed over how our lives look to others through the digital glass that we forget how significant it is to live, invest and relish in the present moment and the reality we’re in.
- Prioritizing the Wrong Models of Communication We’ve become convinced that our mobile alerts and notifications are urgent no matter what. We feel the urge to reply or check our email and social media accounts over and over again like our lives depended on it. As a result, we’ve become overly attached to digital communication, regarding real life communication as secondary. We exchange the depth and quality of face-to-face interactions with shallow and impersonal connections. We have fallen under the delusion that smartphones improve our experiences and relationships, when in reality, they’re slowly eating them alive. We sabotage our happiness and wreak havoc with our relationships, failing to see which is more important in our life. Small, precious moments are slipping away because we’re focused on reading all of our emails, and we get unreasonably anxious if we put our phones away even for 30 minutes.