Nothing says I love you more than a little attention right? Making sure the background is ideal and your lipstick looks perfect for that photo that will be liked hundreds of times by your friends’ counts as attention – am I right?
Gone are the days when simple gestures like glaring at one another across a table or holding the chair out before your significant other takes a seat. Today relationships are ultimately defined by your social presence with one another – in other words, the way you look on Instagram together or how fast you change your status on Facebook so that the world (not the two of you) know you are in love.
Cell phones have become a staple in defining our love lives, our parenting skills and even the very definition of who we are. This, to say the least, has to be taking a HUGE toll on our personal love lives.
The Stats Don’t Lie
According to statistics, people on average check their phones every 4-6 minutes – more than 150 times per day! Yes, most of these are simple random checks to see what’s up on the world-wide-web and are probably harmless but that second nature act does come at a cost. Consequently fostering personal connections to physical beings. Ironic yes, but imagine yourself on the receiving end of it. Would you feel special if your partner was constantly checking his/her phone – even if it were just to look at the time? Interrupted attention no longer exists and puts a knot on the communication scale. When one partner constantly checks his or her phone it implies that they find the phone more interesting than you are.
What’s worse is that studies have linked the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of reward or pleasure to dopamine. The feel-good chemical that drives motivation, forms habits, and has implications in addiction can all be found in your body because of…you guessed it…a cell phone!
If It Hurts You, It Hurts Them Too
Let’s face it, no one likes to feel like they are second to anything – let alone a cell phone. If your partner is constantly looking at their phone, chances are you are going to feel that way. As well, the doubt should set in at some time or another and you’ve just graduated from a trusting partner to a curious one. At all costs, resist the urge to swipe through your partner’s phone because something as simple as a DM from a random person may ruin what was once a somewhat trusting situation. Try to keep your partner top priority and you too should get the same in return.
What To Do:
The answer is simple – make clear expectations with your partner and set aside time to spend together without any technology. Perhaps dinner time or an hour before bed could be a good start, put the phone as far away as possible to resist the urge to reach for it. Make a conscious effort to spend your time together doing things equally addictive so that the ‘urge’ to locate your cell phone is zero to none.
Decide if you want a real-life connection or one that is fabricated. Since a lot of people tend to separate the two this is tricky. Real feelings and connections are easy to make but hard to come by so make the choice and work on it. Like everything, a little work goes a long way in this department – you owe it to yourself and your partner to at least explore the possibility.
Who am I to Tell You…
From personal experience, I can attest to saying that cell phones suck when it comes to building relationships. I am lucky enough to have a husband who doesn’t partake in social media and uses his cell phone strictly to call people or text on occasion (very rarely). I, on the other hand, rely on mine for work, to keep in touch, and for adorable photos of my growing boys but he’s made a point that he does not want a phone at the table or near our bedside ever. This was tough at first, but I am forever thankful for my tiny cell phone holidays – even if they are small ones. He has taught me that cell phones are bricks that we carry and once they’ve weighed us all down we feel nothing but exhaustion. Take those photos, answer the important calls but never lose sight of what’s in front of you…the most important memories you will remember forever.