family time Posts

3 Ways to Combat The Dangers of Technology to Relationships

Let’s face it. Technology has crept up on us rapidly and changed the face of our relationships with each other in just a few short years. Of course, it has its positives and I would not want to do without my computer, ipad and iphone. However, it is not just kids who have challenges in balancing technology, adults too have their challenges with technology, particularly in the area of relationships.

You may notice that you are increasingly unwilling to let a text sit without responding to it no matter what is happening in your family. There is certainly research evidence building that social media involvement builds discontent. Certainly, when couples each spend what used to be time together and now becomes time away on their computer device, distance is created, even without intention. When texting with your partner, especially if you try to discuss a pressing issue, the danger of miscommunication is an everyday difficulty. The building of couple resilience, attachment and connection takes time daily and it is difficult enough to come by that time without the insistent call of technology. So what are some things you might do about this that will help you to build fences around your relationship in regards to the influence of internet technology.

  1.  Set aside a time for yourself and assess your own life and the balance of technology. Ask yourself questions about time and how you are spending it. Does the amount of tech time align with your values? If you spent less time on the internet, what would you want to do with that time? What do you need to change personally?
  2.  Sit down together as a couple and hear each other regarding where you think the boundaries need to be around technology and the current irritations you feel around each other’s use of technology. Each couple relationship will have different needs in this regard. Come to this table discussion with an open mind and heart, willing to come together, taking both of your needs into account. Get agreement on what changes you want to institute and then support one another in that.
  3. Assess what has  been lost by your use of technology. For example, have you lost touch with a good friend who does not text or a family member, such as a great grandmother who does not text? What about your children? I often see mom’s texting while walking their child, where in other times there would be lots of communication with the child on a walk. These are just a couple of examples of loss that creeps up on us. When you become aware of this, you may want to commit some of your tech time to other forms of communication that leads to a re-connection of these losses that you may still value.

Some things that other couples have tried and found helpful are to have no tech times such as meal times together. Also having a place in the house where everyone drops their devices when it is a family or couple time or time for shutting down for the day can be an important habit.

The rapidity of change in technology makes it important for you, your relationship and your family  to  do this reassessment every 3 months or so in order to live your life according to your personal values and meaning. Go forth and be wonderful in this!