Dare 7: Is a cell phone impacting your marriage?
“Oh no,” Marg exclaimed rooting through her purse. “I left my cellphone on the counter. Did you bring yours?”
“No, honey,” he responded. “We’re too far from home to turn back.”
“What if the kids need us?” Marg frowned.
“They are grown adults. I’ll call from the opera.”
Marg tried to relax.
Charlie was secretly relieved Marg had forgotten her phone. He’d noticed her increasing dependence on it lately, an addiction almost. She was often distracted, not paying attention to him like she used to. He parked in the city garage and helped her out of the car.
“You look radiant, Marg.” His blue eyes shimmered. She looked for someone to take a picture of them and then remembered she didn’t have her phone.
As they arrived at street level, the grandeur of the city struck her: The beauty of the Metropolitan Opera House. The aroma of savory foods from surrounding restaurants. The vibrant people from so many backgrounds. Marg reached for her phone to take a picture and sighed.
When is the last time I enjoyed being somewhere without feeling I had to post it to social media? she thought.
As Charlie took her hand to find their seats, she caught the earthy aroma of his aftershave, and was momentarily swept up like in the early days of their romance. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d noticed how he smelled.
Maybe, she thought, the best moments in life aren’t for sharing.
Whether it’s the impact on political viewpoints, increased anxiety, depression, or exposure to cyberbullying, social media’s impact can’t be ignored. “Nomophobia,” the fear of being without a mobile device, is becoming more common.
According to AddictionCenter.Com, Research published by Virgin Mobile discovered that those billions of smartphone users receive 427% more messages and notifications than they did a decade ago. They also send 278% more texts.
We’re becoming less “present” in our relationships, and literally addicted to a device. Our brains are seeking stimulation more than ever before, and the dopamine hits from “likes” and messages are as positively powerful as cancel culture is negative.
HealthShots.com in a May 2021 article reports, A study conducted at Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, confirms that smartphones can actually impact your relationships quite negatively and make you more depressed as a result of your attention spans being wrecked.
Here is a list from Forbes Magazine with 10 useful suggestions to limit your usage of your device:
- Wear a watch
- Get an alarm clock
- Get better at using your memory instead of Googling
- Set rules, like not using your phone when with people
- Use a screen time monitor app
- Use the downtime function
- Turn off notifications
- Schedule email, phone use, reading, etc. for ONE chunk of time
- Switch to greyscale, diminishing the attractiveness of the apps
- Have a higher purpose – vision keeps you busy and full of dopamine!
Get off your phone and be in your NOW – it can have a positive impact on your brain and your relationships.
In prayer, bring your cell phone and social media usage to the Father. Ask God what He thinks about how often you are online. Ask Him what your motivation is in doing it at the level you are – and what He thinks you should do moving forward.
What about you?
- How much time are you spending on your phone each day?
- Knowing that 30 minutes of scrolling is negatively impacting your brain, (and according to an article from NationalGeographic.com, we are also becoming physically sick from scrolling) what specific strategies can you implement now to cut back?
- What can you do to satisfy your need for dopamine instead of cell phone usage?
Can’t wait to visit about this today! Leave a comment below and let’s talk!
Love to you,
PS – if you’ve been to the workshops, read all the books, and paid the therapists, and are STILL stuck in conflict, maybe consider getting more information about our Marriage Intensive. We see SOLID results within the first three weeks with the majority of couples – and there is ongoing support. The method is Biblical AND supported by double-blind, gold standard research. Schedule a conversation to learn more HERE.