Eight seemingly benign things can destroy your relationship, and what you can do about it; part five- technology
A few months ago, I read that neck and upper back problems are likely going to become more pervasive in the future due to technology. I fully own that I read this while on my phone.
According to the article, our necks will more likely prematurely wrinkle from having our head tilted down looking at our devices. Moreover, tilting our head downwards looking at technology will also more likely result in neck and upper back strain leading to muscular and skeletal problems. While the physical strain of viewing technology may become readily apparent, there is also a huge emotional toll that too much technology can place upon our relationships with our partners.
In this series, we have talked about how seemingly innocuous forces can become pesky “thirds” in our relationships. To refresh the memory, thirds are defined as anything (yes anything whatsoever) outside of the primary intimate relationship that can come in between partners, disrupt the relationship’s priority and cause serious damage.
Technology poses a real problem in that it can become highly addictive for anyone. We are becoming a society in which quick answers are a click away. Social media has become a major platform for communication. And texting is easier than calling or having a face to face conversation.
We can design Bitmoji’s that highly resemble us, and there is an emoticon for almost any which way we feel. While technology does have the power to make life easier, it has the power to wreak havoc on our mood, sense of well-being and relationships.
If you are feeling disconnected from your partner and you think technology is to blame, how can you prevent technology from undermining your relationship?
- Unplug. Create mutually agreed upon times (preferably daily) that you both unplug- even if it is for short periods of time. Consider also extended tech free periods of time such as weekends, road trips and vacations.
- Make agreements about technology. Establish clear agreements about when technology is not appropriate in activities of daily living such as during meals. Moreover, if exceptions are made, make sure they are exceptions in which both of you mutually agree.
- Catch each other in the moment. The best time to discuss the toll technology might be taking in your relationship is at the time of impact. Ask for what you need around this, and be proactive so as not to allow missed opportunities to speak up to become resentments later. Also be mindful of occasions when technology inhibits you from being fully present with your partner.
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