If you are reading this on your mobile phone, computer or tablet, while your spouse is sitting next to you, PUT IT DOWN RIGHT NOW! I will tell you why technology in marriage isn’t that beneficial to your marriage and why we need to stop thinking it’s okay.
Just like a lot of people in our society today, I have a smartphone and a computer. Truly, when I am not on one, I might be on the other doing whatever my little heart desires. That’s what these devices are for right? But when do we give them a rest? We go to sleep after scrolling social media (watch this video about social media in marriage.. SO GOOD!), playing a game, watching a video, researching something, or doing some (probably unnecessary) online shopping. Now my question for you is when do you spend time with your spouse? Before or after you are on your device? DURING is not spending time with your spouse just in case you actually thought that was true.
Here are some reasons why we need to re-evaluate technology and see how it is actually impacting our marriages.
1. Investing in the Wrong Place
You know how there are people who post every minute of every day of their lives on social media? I do, and I love watching their feed. I know what they had to eat, what they’re thinking about wearing this summer, what they just bought, where they vacationed and where their next vacation will be, I know how they might be feeling that day because they put it on social media. That is all fine and dandy because that’s their choice and people watch. BUT do I know that much about my spouse? Have I asked them how they were feeling lately? Did I ask them what they would like to do on our next outing? Have we made plans together for anything other than to sit in front of the TV to watch the next episode of that one Netflix series? Probably not (personal, ouch). Why though? Because I have invested more time in the life of this person on my social media platform instead of the person I am supposed to be doing life with, here and now. DO NOT allow yourself to be so invested in some other person’s life when the person who needs your love and attention is sitting right next to you waiting to be invested in.
2. Not Giving Attention Where It’s Needed
This seems like a no brainer. Let’s take into consideration what people do when they are bored, have too much downtime or are simply feeling neglected. They look at their phone, right? I know I do. But there are some cases where people use their devices to seek out attention maybe unintentionally, but it ends up turning into a habitual act after getting recognition by someone, anyone! If the attention of a spouse is not on the other spouse’s needs due to that spouse also being on their device, what does that leave? Two people searching for attention, recognition, and validation elsewhere. As you all know, I truly believe that there is such an important purpose for marriage, it’s our job to not allow our mind to go to those places but seek out what God has purposed for this covenant. If you have ever been tempted to receive compliments or likes on a specific post, THAT IS SEEKING ATTENTION. I just need to tell every man and woman who are involved in this kind of mentality, take a step back and really think about why you’re doing it. Now change the situation by considering your spouse and maybe they feel exactly how you do. Work at your marriage and give each other the attention and time you both need.
3. Escaping Reality
Now, I have witnessed people on their phones for a good majority of their life. Sometimes it seems as though they have more conversations via their phone than they do in real life. Also, understand that I am not speaking of specific people or specific situations, it’s just there are a ton of people (myself included) who allow their devices to drown out the realities of their life. As adults, we all know that there are some pretty heavy things that we know we need to deal with in order to continue a full and productive life. However, sometimes we allow these devices to overshadow the importance of the matters that should be dealt with. Having your mind in a video game is going to help take your mind off of the reality that you and your spouse just got into an argument. Researching the latest celebrity gossip will take your mind off of your own issues with your spouse. Scrolling aimlessly through social media takes you into other people’s “perfect” lives and allows you to escape for a bit. Playing game after game on your device allows you to forget about the pain and hurt of your childhood issues that affect your life now instead of dealing with those issues head-on. All of these things, we do. We allow technology’s quick accessibility to wipe out the matters that should be handled to better our marriage and our life. Why? Because unfortunately, a lot of us adults don’t want to deal with such messy issues. We need to seriously bring this to a stop. These issues need to be addressed in order for us to grow in our marriage and relationship. If not, the marriage becomes stagnant and begins to deteriorate.
4. Wasting Precious Time
Something that I have personally been involved with is allowing technology to take up my time. Someone once said, “We all have 24 hours in the day. What are you doing with yours?” There are days that pass where I will realize that I am on my device way too much, but don’t do anything to change it. Then I think about the time I spent with my phone in front of my face. WHAT A WASTE! I allowed this material thing to take up time that I have with my husband and fur babies RIGHT NOW. Are they really not worth me being off of my phone even for a limited time to just be present? I ask you, is your spouse, family, friends, -are YOU- not important enough to be off of devices to allow connection? How about we all take this time to reconsider how much we spend on our devices. Now does that balance out with how much face to face time we spend with our loved ones? We have time now! Let’s not wait until they are gone or until we are gone to make a change.
Now, the growing need for technology and devices is obvious. HOWEVER, there is a way to allow for technology time and connection time within the marriage.
Try having a time “in” and time “out for technology. If you work from home, have an allotted time to work, be on your phone for business reasons, send emails, do whatever you have to do, but at the “out” time, technology is off until that “in” time comes back around. Instead of just turning the devices off and sitting there looking at each other like weirdos, (we’ve done this before lol) plan on what you will do intentionally for that time with your spouse. Set intentional time about investing in your spouse for this time frame.
Playing a game together, reading, praying or going outside together are all good ideas to bring back and open up the communication channels within marriage. If you truly want your marriage to grow leaps and bounds, remember that your spouse was given specifically to you. You are in this marriage for a reason that God will reveal to you if you set the devices down and spend quality time TOGETHER with God. Don’t allow time to pass without being intentional with your marriage. Enjoy being present and remember that your love, attention and time is really what both of you are actually wanting from each other. Give that to each other as much as possible. Technology will always be there, but you and your spouse won’t. Love today. Be present today. Spend today.