We live in a fast-paced technological age in which our devices have become an extension of ourselves. Technology can make our lives easier and us more efficient at the workplace, home, school, etc. Moreover, it can help us easily stay in touch with many people all around the world. The problem arises, however, not when we have technology, but when technology has us. If we don’t control how much time is spent using these devices, they can take over our lives and interfere with our marriage relationships. After a long day at work we just want to come home and unwind. Many times, we rely on technological devices such as TV, cell phones, social media and games to do this. This becomes unhealthy when it is substituted for spending quality time with our spouses and children. Or sometimes, we are on our cell phones when having dinner at home or at a restaurant. Sometimes, I am guilty of being on the cell phone playing games while my husband drives. Rather than playing games while my husband is driving, I can use that time to connect emotionally with him about our day.
Here are some tips for claiming quality time back in your marriage.
1. No devices at the dinner table. Dinner time should be reserved for face-to-face conversation.
2. No phones at the restaurant. When we are out at restaurants we are not allowed to use our phones unless it is an emergency and/or call from the babysitter. Also we do not go to restaurants that have televisions because it is a distraction and couple is disengaged. We all need to find time daily to disconnect from all the information and reconnect with our families with good ‘old-fashioned’ conversation.”
3. Limited time for TV and other devices every evening. Placing specific time limit on watching TV is great because then the couple can have their quality time to emotionally reconnect for the day.
4. Fast from technological devices completely. I know couple who cancelled cable and unplugged their TV set for months in order to just reconnect and build intimacy.
All these boundaries establish a strong family value that your marriage is a priority. These tips are hard but not impossible. When placing limits on technology, more couples and families will experience open communication and great depth of intimacy than ever before.