Thoughts

Phubbing [cell phone snubbing] vs. Being Present in Your Relationships

Phubbing [cell phone snubbing] vs. Being Present in Your Relationships

Do Your Relationships Suffer from ‘Technoference’?

Cellphones can shackle us to our workplace and the world. Now many of us are discovering how challenging it can be to focus on one-to-one relationships versus the lure of the cell phone. The compulsion to be current with information and trivia leads people to hide in rest rooms to check their Facebook newsfeeds, work email, online groups, or to text in the same way an addict might cover up their addiction. Paying attention and being present with loved ones requires focus.

We hide it because we deep down know it’s hurtful. Yet the impulse to “check” is so strong that we allow it to interfere with our real lives in ways that weren’t possible a few short years ago.

Couples in counseling often say their spouses or partners their online world more important than their relationship. The intrusion of “technoference” or “phubbing” [phone snubbing] takes a huge toll on our relationships

This extends even to our children, who being raised with this technology, are aware that adults are not paying attention when they see parents and caregivers being distracted by these devices.

How to Cut the Digital Cord

What steps can we take to have a healthier work-life-family balance and be more present as spouses, partners and parents? Consider establishing a time for “turning off” the laptops, pads, and smartphones. Perhaps make it a daily routine.

Here’s how it might work. Walk in the door from work and place your phone in a bowl or basket for a set period of time, perhaps two hours to the next morning depending on your job. Or lock the phone in your glove compartment when you are watching your child’s game so you can really “be there”. If you have something important to discuss with your spouse or partner, do it in person. Look him or her in the eyes. The anonymity of a text can do more harm than you think. But don’t be shocked if it’s more difficult than you expect. Habits are hard to break. We are so conditioned to be ‘immediate’ in availability that we forget that “off work” or “offline” means “unavailable”.

For some more resources on how technology can affect your relationships, check out these informative articles.

How Cellphones Can Hurt Your Relationship

Cell Phones, Texting, and Relationship Distress

Are You Married to Your Smartphone

©2017 Alpha Resource Center

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