“There are three people in our marriage and I am getting jealous now,” Anita anxiously confessed, “And I feel terrible!” I panicked and asked, “Who is it?” “It’s that phone!” she sighed. “He’s on that thing for endless hours every day and doesn’t ever look up from the screen.” “Oh! It’s just the phone!” I exclaimed with tremendous relief. “It’s not just a phone!” she shrieked, “It’s almost as if that thing is alive and my husband is in love with it. I’m quite sure he believes that he’s married to it now!” After the outburst, Anita calmed down over a cup of tea as we swapped stories. Our own stories, stories of our friends and colleagues, and stories of our families. We came to a conclusion that the cell phone has now attained a life of its own. It has now become the most inevitable person in our lives and has invaded our homes and hearts.
Phones have rocked our drawing rooms, our dinner dates, our dining tables, family gatherings, outings, long drives, and our bedrooms. It has occupied the space between a husband and his wife and has caused much anxiety among partners about the stability of relationships. Matthew Lapierre, assistant professor in the department of communication, University of Arizona explains, “I’m more likely to think my relationship is doomed the more I believe my partner needs that thing. It’s not use; it’s the psychological relationship to that device.” How many of us can actually sleep away with a phone kept in another room and not having the urge to check it as soon as we wake up. Very few will not be found guilty of this crime! Technology has intruded our relationships.
Changing patterns and lifestyles have made way for several distractions in our lives over a period and cell phones are becoming a big thing to handle. We are getting more comfortable with reel conversations while real ones are getting scarce. Sometimes the warmth of serving a newly tried dish does not even receive a word of appreciation because the husband did not even realise he was eating it for the first time as he was engrossed with the phone. Such things can be really annoying at times!
Messages, videos, status updates, likes, comments, requests, tweets, can make for good reads, can be informative and entertaining. But it is unlikely that these provide for lasting memories. When I tried to recollect the last good memory that I had, my mind immediately flashed to the time my husband and I enjoyed a lovely late night walk, enjoying an ice-cream cone. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the last video I had seen or the forward in my inbox.
Here are a few tips to implement to save your marriage from cell phone addiction.
1) Turn off social media notifications when with your partner
2) Set a time to check your social media messages and chats and decide how many hours you actually spend with the phone in a day
3) Keep the phone away half hour before sleep time
4) Always ensure that you are not chatting or surfing when it’s the time for your spouse to return home
5) Introduce a family rule to keep away cell phones while having family dinners and gatherings
6) Do not check phone while on a date
7) If you need to check on something legitimately important, provide an explanation to your partner first and then check your phone.
8) Refrain from taking excessive pictures on your dates and outings only to post a nice one on Facebook or any other social media platform. Instead enjoy and live the moment coz once it’s gone it will never come back.
9) Finally, don’t get defensive if your partner expresses his concern at your constant texting, or gaming or videos. It is just a way for them to let you know that they would really like to spend some time with you.
Reflect again and ask yourselves Are you in love with Him, Her or your cell phone?
The Dark side of the Wired World
The Dark side of the Wired World
When I passed my high school, social media was slowly catching up. It was a new bug that was making the rounds. Well, it is not new anymore and thanks to telecom giants, we see social media access being available with affordable and free data packs even in villages now. Though we all know that social media has taken over our lives we still are contemplating whether it’s good to be on there or not. Let’s see some reasoning’s.
a. Social media has helped to make communication faster. There is no doubt that businesses can make the most of it owing to these sites. It is also a good platform for people to have options and access to such information.
b. Social media has made it possible for likeminded people to discuss important topics and discover new things.
c. Social media has helped many Nonprofit organizations that deal with welfare, healthcare and other issues that can now be addressed to a wider audience on a wider scale with reach like never before.
With all these benefits, being on social media does not sound bad at all but like we all say there is always another side to things. Let’s find out how?
1. It is addictive:
Absolutely it is! How many of us are guilty of checking our notifications even before we start our day! Before you know it, the ping of a notification is like balm to your soul. There is magnetic pull to keep checking those updates/notifications no matter what time of the day it is something like the FOMO effect, Fear Of Missing Out. To read more about it click here
How can we say that such a happening place can become a cause of depression for someone? Well the thing is that on social media we simply see everyone having perfect holidays, perfect relationships, perfect faces and the entire world seems to be having a blast except you. There are many who have started to feel that they are not a bunch of happier people like others are. Many teenagers are gripped with the fear of being less popular and constantly editing pictures to look best and seek attention and when they are unable to see the desired responses they get upset and depressed. Number of likes and comments have become the new age cause of low self-esteem.
3. Sexting & Strangers:
Social media has opened a whole new world of connections of friends, friends in friend’s list, acquaintances and more. While we are at becoming more social we are also becoming prey to dangers of this wired world. It has become easier for teens to share private photos, videos and flirty text messages with known and unknown people both. Once it is up on the internet, it is out of your hands and then there is nothing you can do about it. Those pictures can be used in the most demeaning way possible. Young girls, be wary and be always on your guard!!
We have just stated a few things but there is more to it. In the recent past, we have seen many relationships and families that have been broken up over social networks. Now, don’t misunderstand me I am not saying that Facebook is to blame for this. But these are just too handy for people to flirt or cheat, get connected with their ex’s or go beyond the prohibited lines and ruin relationships of Trust and Love. Date nights and family dinners are slowly stealing the magic moments cos everyone is glued on their cell phones. Instead of enjoying the moment we want to make sure we clicked one to have something to feed our statuses. I leave it for you to decide how can you make most of this technology and yet not get affected by it either in your academics, relationships or family life.
Your “Likes” DO NOT define “YOU”!
Your “Likes” DO NOT define “YOU”!
Are you impressed by the latest picture of a “friend” with that perfect hair style, impeccable body and those sunglasses you always wanted but could not afford?
Are you depressed because you didn’t get the number of “Likes” you were desperately hoping for on Facebook or Instagram after spending hours and hours editing your profile picture?
If your answer is “yes”, trust me, I’ve been there and it’s a hard place to be in.
Unfortunately, today we have allowed Social Media to define us. We don’t see ourselves for who we are but who we want to be. We have sacrificed our courage, our boldness and our self-esteem to the virtual world! And as a result, we lose our footing because our identity is now anchored on shifting silicone. This is why we trip over disappointment and depression more often than we like or can handle.
Our communication is often phony. We are more comfortable with emoticons than with our emotions. Even when the heart is terribly hurt and weeping inside, we put smiley faces on texts and delude ourselves. Issues that need to be spoken and sorted are now buried under heaps of texts and tweets, posts and pictures. We spend most of our time living in this virtual castle of our own creation, surrounded by hundreds of “friends” who “like” almost everything that is photoshopped into perfection. And the selfie obsession has now become suicidal. Life itself takes the second place to a perfect selfie and we don’t hesitate to pose in the middle of a road or railway tracks or lean over bridges.
Then after a busy day of texting and commenting and liking and posting and scrolling, the screen is turned off and we face the darkness around us and struggle to grapple with reality – assignments that have to be completed, bills that have to be paid, meals that have to be prepared, laundry that needs to be done, rooms that have to be cleaned, and people that need to be taken care of. The temptation very often is to return to the screen and usually, we succumb.
But tasks in real life have a notorious tendency of piling up. The number of assignments increase, unpaid bills add to the debt, ignored relationships crumble. And this scenario doesn’t come with a switch off button.
So, before you get totally deluded by the virtual world and completely bogged down by life, take a reality check and make a conscious decision to find the perfect balance. No one needs to be lured into the virtual space. It is tempting enough. But let me give you a few tips to ease your way back into facing reality, one step at a time.
1. Talk to your family and friends. They are actually nice people.
2. Make meal times electronic free zones.
3. The internet is a public space. Apply the same code of conduct as you would in real life. Show the same respect and restraint in all kinds of relationships.
4. Most importantly, build your identity on solid reality and not on silicone chips.
A friend of mine once told me a story in the Bible that illustrates this point. There were two men who built houses for themselves. One built his house on the sand and the other on the rock. Then came a fierce storm. The winds blew and the rains lashed. The house on the sand was destroyed but the house on the rock stood firm. Only if our identity and strength is anchored on the rock can we withstand the storms of life. We’d like to help you find the rock foundation on which to build your life. Reach us Now!