It is very uncommon in this day and age for individuals to not own a smartphone. Children under the age of four are able to navigate their way through iPads and smartphones to watch movies or play games. Smartphones have become a necessity to our everyday lives, whether it is to communicate with family, close a business deal, watch a movie, or check the news, everything has become accessible through smartphones in the palm of our hands. Unfortunately we spend an excessive amount of time on our phones, and sometimes we do not even realize it. We begin forgetting to look up every once in awhile and enjoy the moment, or enjoy the company of our loved ones. To blame the use of a smartphone for a failing relationship may be a far stretch but here are some ways your smartphone may be harming your relationships.
1. Not Enough Face-to-face Communication
When you are communicating with your significant other more through social media, or texting it begins taking away from your face-to-face interaction. We should place more importance on the real intimacy and feelings that are experienced when having a face-to-face conversation with the ones we care about. If you’re scrolling through your phone before bed instead of chatting with your significant other, remind one another to put the phones down and talk about the highs and lows of your day.
2. Your Smartphone is Your Priority
Today everyone has their phone during dinner, on dates, at family functions, and typically anywhere where they should be having meaningful face-to-face communication. Our smartphones alert us when we get an incoming call, text, email, social media update, news update, or reminders. These notifications are now registered in many of our minds to be the number one priority. We stop whatever meaningful conversation we are having, or just being in the present due to these notifications. Sometimes people will be in the middle of a conversation, look at their notification for a few minutes and then completely forget what they were talking about. This can make someone really hurt as they feel they are not as important as whatever your phone is telling you. Start turning your phone on silent when you are out to dinner, or when you know you will be engaging with friends and family.
3. You Keep Your Phone Too Secret
If you cannot trust your significant other with whom he/she is talking to our following on social media than you are probably with the wrong person. With that being said there is a lot of temptation for both males and females with social media, or apps that hide text messages and incoming calls. There are so many outlets on a smartphone that allow us to engage in conversation with other people that may be trying to be more than friends with us. Facebook messenger, direct messages on Instagram and twitter, and apps like ‘CoverMe Private’ a messaging app that allows you to hide text messages, contacts, call logs, and gives you a ‘private vault’ for these documents. Hopefully your significant other will end your relationship before they go through the trouble of hiding another relationship, but many people do not and it is important to communicate face-to-face so these options are not something chosen from either of you.
It is crazy to think how these devices take over so many of our lives without us even noticing, or wanting to admit it is true. Start making time during your day where you take a couple hours away from your smartphones – read a book, go on a hike, volunteer, or catch up with friends and family. After work sign out of your email and make it known that you are unavailable and can only answer emails during work hours. Before you go to bed allow thirty minutes without looking at your phone, this will give you time to relax, talk to your significant other, and improve your sleep quality. Lastly, turn off your push notifications this will help your temptation, as you will not be getting alerts every 15 minutes. Check your phone a healthy amount within the day and see how your quality of life improves, allowing yourself to see the world around you, engage with people, and enjoy living in the present.