Recently I flew to visit my mother and took advantage of free on board wi-fi to catch up on emails. My husband was traveling in Africa, and we connected by Face Time just long enough for me to tell him I was on a plane and would try to reach him later. I looked at my phone, and felt incredibly grateful. A little telephone/computer/camera enables me to connect with with my husband on the other side of the world in real time—even on an airplane!
According to Wikipedia, Motorola produced the first hand held phone in 1973. But mobile phones weren’t compact enough for widespread use until the 1990s. Smartphones followed shortly thereafter. And the market for these devices really took off with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007.
So the smart phone revolution happened in a little more than a decade. Now, it’s hard to imagine life without a phone in your pocket or purse.
But there’s a downside.
It’s possible to connect with almost anyone anywhere. However, it’s also easy to be more and more disconnected.
Researchers in Canada did an interesting study recently published by the American Psychological Association. First, they asked diners at a restaurant to leave their phones on the table with the ringer set to vibrate. Or they could turn their phones off, and place them out of sight in a container on the table. Then after dinner, participants filled out a survey about the experience. People who had access to their phones during dinner were more distracted and enjoyed the experience significantly less than those who put their phones away.
“Decades of research on happiness tell us that engaging positively with others is critical for our well-being. Modern technology may be wonderful, but it can easily sidetrack us and take away from the special moments we have with friends and family in person.” Ryan Dwyer, MA, University of British Columbia
Our lives are busy. Because our schedules are filled with work, kids’ activities, school and church events, time we have together is limited and precious.
So what’s one thing you can do to improve your marriage right now?
Put down your phones and talk with each other.
Have a real conversation over dinner. Sit outside or take a walk and just…talk. Get past the list of family business—who will get the groceries or pick up the kids. Catch up on what you are thinking and how you are feeling.
Healthy marriages require good communication habits. Do you and your spouse need to agree on some technology-free time every day, or every week? Don’t let devices rob you of those special moments of in person connection.
Want to learn more about good communication habits in marriage? Find a Dynamic Marriage or United class near you, or learn how to bring these unique resources to your church and community.