Do you sleep with your smartphone? Is it the last thing you look at before you go to bed and the first thing you check on in the morning? Does your partner have to compete with your attention over it? Is it the one you turn to to wind down and relax?
If the answer is yes to all of these things, it could be time to break up with your phone!
Although most of us feel like we couldn’t live without our phones, the truth is it was only about 15 years ago that we survived very happily without them.
Now, it is estimated that a third of the world’s population owns one, with many spending more than 3 hours a day on their phone, along with constant checking.
Our smartphones are literally the world at our fingertips – it’s our alarm, our navigation device, weather channel, our business and social connection, our DJ, our marketing device and so much more.
All these things are wonderful, and really beneficial, but is your phone having an impact on your relationships; is it the deadly distraction!
For many marriages it is a much safer and more convenient place to play, with the ability to connect, get affirmation and ‘be who you want to be’ without too many strings attached. Or so you may think!
According to recent studies, social media sites alone have been found to attribute to rising anxiety, depression, stress, and plummeting self-images. With social media affecting the brain the same way a hug does, it’s any wonder it can feel a whole lot easier to head to the screen to connect instead of engaging in communication, connection and touch that is so important to a healthy marriage.
Along with that, the accessibility your phone provides to pornography makes it all too easy to access, causing havoc to your marriage. It’s a destructive path that studies document rewires the brain, distorts expectations and savotages real intimacy. The consequences are big!
So how do we power down our device and power up our relationships?
In today’s world it really is an interesting balance, one that we need to be constantly revisiting.
If we’re really honest, that relationship that you have with your phone is always going to want to overstep its mark. And it’s everyone’s problem to different degrees!
The first step is to get a plan and set yourself some ground rules that line up with the life you want.
The truth is, that if you don’t take charge of your life, other people, and other things will!
Here are a few ideas:
• Sign off for a weekend. A little break from the screen will help you re-establish control.
• Let your phone go through to voicemail after a certain time at night.
• Set yourself some phone-free zones, eg. the kitchen table, the bedroom….
• Turn all push notifications off.
• Have specified social media times during the day.
• Load up the app ‘Moment – Screen Time’, it will measure your phone use.
• Find someone you can be accountable to if you need support.
Some of these ideas might seem a little bit too drastic for you, but you can start somewhere!
The payoff is that you get to spend much more quality time with the ones you love, in the real world. And they certainly will feel that they are your priority once again. It’s guaranteed to improve your relationships and bring a greater focus to what really matters.
So have fun and enjoy the process of setting up some new rules for your life. Along with that, don’t beat yourself up, enjoy the amazing benefits that a smartphone offers you, on your terms.
It really is quite freeing!!