Is your Phone Killing your Relationships?
This post came to me when I saw this cool talk by Simon Sinek, where he talked about how technology is ruining our lives (I’ll leave a link down below so you can check it out if you haven’t yet). And I know, this video sounds pretty doom and gloom and anti-technology, but the way he talks about the subject is actually pretty cool and to the point.
So, basically, his talk got me thinking, how much of our phone habits are actually detrimental to our relationships?
The Downwards-facing Phone
This part of the video made me chuckle because it’s true. Most of us have grown so used to having our phones with us (I mean, hello, it’s our life-lines) that we don’t think twice about bringing it along to dinner parties or coffee dates with friends.
Now, I’m not that old-fashioned, I was born in a time where technology started developing at a frightening speed and I also know that we no longer live in a time where it is possible (or wise) to leave the house without our phones.
But, is it truly necessary to put said phone on the table where you’re having a lovely breakfast or lunch or dunch (yes, that is an actual and highly underrated meal between lunch and dinner)?
Even if that phone is placed with the screen facing down it is still highly offensive to whomever you’re with. The screen facing down is like you saying, I will be committed to this outing with you until something more important or entertaining just so happens to pop up.
Because let’s be honest, even if that phone is on silent, these blasted new phones won’t allow us to go completely undisturbed anymore! Silent nowadays equals vibrate. How does that even make sense? The vibration makes a sound and still causes a disruption!
Signs your Phone is the Barrier
I think it’s safe to say that if you can’t go a full hour out with someone that you like spending time with, without checking your phone for messages or notifications from social media, your situation has already reached a troublesome point.
If you’ve spent multiple evenings sitting with your family, with your eyes glued to your screen the whole time (not that I’ve done that, at all), you might want to look into changing some things.
Whenever your phone is present, you can never fully be in the moment with whoever is in front of you. Your focus is not there and you’re not giving the other person the time and attention that they deserve.
You simply cannot have a healthy relationship with anyone when your phone is constantly interrupting your conversations. You and your phone are making friends and family members the third wheel.
Let’s Burn them All
Alright, clearly we cannot live in harmony along with technology. All of those seemingly ridiculous sci-fi movies tried to warn us but we simply didn’t heed their warnings.
There is only one solution, we must create a large sacrificial bonfire and burn all the phones!
Who’s with me?
Set Technological Boundaries
After writing that, I realise it sounds like some sort of wifi circle thing (clearly I’m very much technologically inclined) that keeps people away.
If there even is such a thing, that’s not what I’m talking about.
You need to keep yourself in check when it comes to technology. You can decide how much influence it has on your life and especially those parts of it that you share with others.
Wait, let me rephrase that, you have to keep yourself in check. If you don’t control your technology habits, it will start ruling you.
Join the Revolution
I apologise, these headings are getting wonkier the further down I go.
The call is serious though, I have personally decided to stop permitting my phone to call the shots in my relationships.
For me, that meant leaving my phone in the bedroom whenever we had family time planned and chucking it in my handbag (on silent/vibrate) whenever I’m out with friends. If someone comes to me and wants to talk, I have made an agreement with myself to remove my phone from eyeshot to give the other person my full and undivided attention.
I don’t know what it would mean for you or what kind of limitations you’re going to have to implement to make a change. But, I am convinced (and I believe to some extent you are as well otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post) that if our relationships are important to us, we have to give it the proper place in our lives. And the proper place will always be before our phones.