Some new stats were recently released, and I have to say they leave me greatly concerned about our society’s ability to maintain healthy, loving relationships. The two that give me the most pause are the following: (1) 15% of the people surveyed said that they would rather give up sex than go without their iphones for a weekend; and (2) 65% said they wouldn’t be able to live without their iphone, while another 1% said they couldn’t live without Facebook. Seriously?
Don’t get me wrong, I embrace modern technology and all it has to offer to help us professionally or facilitate our personal connections– but to actually feel like you can’t live without your phone for a weekend or that you’d prefer the company of some gadget over your partner is ridiculous. Clearly this instrument is filling a void that isn’t actually being addressed in your personal relationships.
To develop true personal connections, you need to make time for that person and show them that they are a priority in your life. No one I know has ESP, so unless you actually reach out and tell that person that you are thinking about them, wondering how they are doing, and that you want to see them– how is someone supposed to know that they rank in your life?
Checking in with a “hey” text is a start, I suppose. But so much can get lost in translation when you rely on written communications. I want to hear the tone in someone’s voice– and nothing beats seeing the person actually smile or laugh in response to something you’ve said or embrace you when you walk through the door. As I said last night in a panel discussion, love is like a plant– you need to water it and give it sunlight. If you don’t, it will die. I wish I’d come up with this notion myself, but actually it was one of my mental health colleagues that told me that. Hopefully by sharing this idea, you guys will remember to use your gadgets wisely to stay connected, but don’t lose sight of the need to put the electronics away and give your loved ones undivided attention– a good partnership stems from a couple’s ability to make the other one feel special, and like it or not there isn’t an app for that!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.