“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” – Christian Lous Lange.
Technology is an amazing tool that has improved the quality of life for people worldwide. We are always connected, anytime, anywhere; to work, to our friends, to those that we want to be like and want to be like us, to people that live down the block and people thousands of miles away. But the negative aspects of technology can creep up on you.
It’s no surprise that technology can have a negative impact on relationships. Technology use interferes with face-to-face interactions with others. A survey done on the subject indicated that higher levels of technology use adds up to significantly less time spent together as a couple, or in other relationships. It goes without saying that almost anywhere you go, people’s eyes are locked on their devices. Couples in restaurants ignore each other while waiting for their salads and blankly, endlessly scroll down listening intently for the buzz, ring, and chirp rather than what the other person is saying. In so many ways, it’s a paradox. We’ve never been more connected as a culture, yet we’ve never felt more disconnected. I can sit down at my computer and be in touch with someone on the other side of the world in seconds. What I have to remember is that the person who is most important to me is in the next room.
Better relationships happen when you pour your life into people, real people with whom you can talk face-to-face, laugh with, and hear their tone of voice. Put down the phone and walk away from the computer and spend some quality time with your spouse. Find the time to be “unplugged.” I’m not referring to what we call unplugging nowadays–turning off our cell phone for 15 minutes, or not binge-watching Netflix for a weekend. I’m talking about unplugging our devices and plugging into our relationships.
Having too much information on our phones and computers causes them to slow down, freeze, or shut down unexpectedly. It’s the same with our relationships. Too much information, too many things happening in our lives, too many distractions and our relationships can become drained, frustrated, angry and burned out. The solution is to unplug and then plug into our relationships.
I encourage you to unplug and spend time with your spouse and family without your devices nearby. Ask friends to hang out in person — and then suggest that everyone put their phones away so you can avoid distractions. Visit your grandparents. Support your siblings. For some of us, this will not be an easy path. It will require dying to ourselves and our devices daily. But it will be worth it. God wants us to be so fixed on His glory and so in love with His beauty that we live with all our might for Him. With our eyes on Him (and up from our phones), we can have the kind of radical relationships we are looking for.
- What are the ways that technology affects your life every day?
- When does technology distract you from your spouse?
- What is one step you can take today to show your spouse that they are more important to you than “technology?”