- Beware of addiction. Texting, mobile Face-booking, Tweeting, etc, can all be addicting, probably because the immediate gratification that they grant is hard to compete with. Just like any other thing, if you’re getting feedback that it is getting in the way of any aspect of your life, you may be getting addicted.
- Know if you are easily immersed. I know many people who feel as though they have ben web surfing, texting, or emailing for 2 minutes when it has actually been 15 or more. Immersion is a state of consciousness where awareness of physical self is diminished or lost by being surrounded in an engrossing total environment; often artificial. it is common when interacting in cyberspace and gaming, but you may also notice it from reading books or watching movies. I recommend performing your own little experiments by looking at the time before and after interacting through your digital device. If you (or your spouse) notice that much more time passed than you thought, work on setting limits with technology.
- Set limits with your device. This means turning your phone off no matter how important you are at work or to the people in your social cyber-network. One author who talked about a book he wrote on NPR recommended setting up a time when you go out to dinner when you both agree to check voice-mails. I recommend shutting your phone off or putting it on “airplane mode” when out to connect with a loved one. If you’re at a party, make a commitment to not use your device for at least an hour so that you can take advantage of the real social time. Lastly, give your mobile phone less priority my doing something else before checking it in the morning.
Monday, January 23, 2012
In January's newsletter I wrote about the impact of mobile technology on relationships. Since I have received a great deal of interest and comments on the subject, I am posting the article here to welcome any further discussion.
The more I go out to the restaurant, and the more couples I talk with, the more I am realizing that the last decade has come with a very unique challenge to many relationships. It is getting harder and harder to get together and have quality time with one another, and easier and easier to communicate via digital technology. This latter point can be a good thing, except for the fact that many are becoming so dependent on it that it is getting in the way of the little time people have left to spend with their loved ones and community. Have you seen, or even been the couple that sits at a restaurant, each person distracted by their mobile device. Both people are sitting together, but neither are actually there. Some refer to people having affairs with technology. NPR has recently been airing many stories about how smartphones, etc. can ruin relationships. I have a few points that can help preserve relationships in the mobile tech era.