By Bobby O'Neal on Wed, 10/23/2013
Have we created a global love affair with technology?
Have you been swept off your feet by a sexy new device, an alluring app, or a seductive new game? Do not feel any shame or guilt, because you are not alone. The world is full of technology loving adulterers and you can spot us everywhere. We stroll down the busy sidewalk with our heads buried in an intimate texting conversation. We seem oblivious to the flow of life around us because our attention is lost in the anticipation of the next reply. We might stumble back to reality or we might be summoned to the present moment with a loud shout, “Hey buddy watch where you are going.” The next time you are on a busy street or sitting in a packed commuter people mover, take a moment and look up. You will probably witness numerous affairs with technology.
Do not feel embarrassed about spying on these technology lovers, because most of the participants will not be making eye contact with you anyway. Instead, they will be lost in their fantasy world of texts, posts, tweets, gaming victories, and cyber-surfing adventures. If you asked them, they would probably confess that our society has embarked on a global love affair with technology.
Could this global love affair go viral?
Some experts warn that our smart phones, laptops, and gaming devices have isolated us from experiencing the pleasure of social interactions and intimate connections. They have labeled this affliction with new high-tech terms such as, “app addictions,” “internet addiction disorder,” and “obsessive compulsive computing.” We have become trapped in the time-stealing web and our craving to be connected has disconnected us from spending more quality time with our loved ones. Our intimate relationships have suffered and too many marriages have become victims of our obsession with the seductive attraction of the “e-forces.” We have reached a critical point because our global love affair with technology could go viral. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, we are quickly running out of time. Site visits, likes, and re-tweets, have recorded our path to the outer limits. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but not control our lives. It is time to restore the relationship-saving balance in our lives. Fortunately, we do not have to disconnect from technology in order to reconnect with our loving partner.
Can our affair with technology be transformed into a relationship with benefits?
We do not have to throw away our smart phones or snip our wireless connections or log off our computers. Our love affair with technology can be transformed into a satisfying relationship with benefits. Our electronic gadgets can become valuable tools to help us strengthen our relationship. Our online obsessions can be traded in for more romantic moments. This transformation can take place with three simple steps:
1. Do an honest self-assessment of your personal relationship with technology. Are you spending more time tweeting, posting, and texting with your online friends than you are communicating with your in-home partner? Do you make eye contact with your partner by seeing their reflection, as you stare straight ahead at your tablet? Are your online gaming fantasies replacing your real life romantic experiences?
2. Set reasonable boundaries on the time you spend engaged with technology and place a higher priority on the quality time you spend with your partner. If you are uncertain about what “reasonable boundaries” look like for your relationship, then be brave and ask your loving partner for their advice.
3. Look for ways to use technology to enhance your intimate relationship, such as:
- Exchanging romantic messages with your partner
- Surfing romantic holiday destinations together
- Scheduling regular date nights
- Playing with technology together
- Treating yourselves to technology free days
We cannot end the love affair with technology, so we might as well embrace it and have fun with it. Our intimate relationships will flourish when we improve our personal relationship with technology. Since life is too short not to love, we have a choice to make—“turn it on” or “turn it off” tonight. You can decide if this “on or off” choice refers to your computer or your partner.