I was inspired driving to work today by NPR’s series on digital gizmo’s and marriage — http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130698574. Most striking to me was the account towards the end of the story about a couple lying in bed, playing scrabble. Except there was one little twist. Both people were playing scrabble separately on their phones!!
We hear about the great digital disconnect here at Power of Two all the time. It’s truly amazing how easy it is to become a slave to all of our cool little phone’s and tablets and music players. So many of us let these devices slip in to all sorts of private spaces under the guise of “convenience”. Yes, even I have been known to send an occasional text messages from the bathroom. Ugg.
Sound familiar? Here’s a few suggestions to help protect your marriage and make sure the convenience of your devices doesn’t become the downfall of your marriage.
- Carve out some sacred spaces. That is make a few places in your life where the devices don’t come along. I’d suggest the bedroom for starters. The dining room table is another great one.
- Make some reserved times too. For example, perhaps 8 -10:00 every night is “unwired” hour. If you’re a chronic office e-mail checker, start letting people know that you just won’t be available during those hours.
- Develop some 1950’s passions. Recently a friend complimented us that our 3 boys are so “1950’s.” What did she mean? Because we’ve basically banned screen-activities in the afternoons, our boys do things like ride their scooters, play board games, and dig holes in the backyard. Do the same for your marriage. Cultivate some simple 1950’s habits for your marriage. Savor a shared cup of tea. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the block. Listen to music together.
- Check our if your devices are intruding by scheduling an occasional phone-free holiday. That’s right. Turn them off, really off, for a whole 24 hours. If it’s a pleasure and easy to do, YAY, you’re winning the great device battle. If it feels like the world is ending, then something is topsy-turvy. Time to take a serious hard look at how you’re connected to the antennas and what that’s doing to your ability to connect to your loved ones and to make some changes.
It’s amazing how much of a difference these few little pieces can make. Happy unplugging to all!