OUCH!!! We say that because what we’re about to write hits home with us. It convicts us BIG TIME!!! And it may convict you too. It has to do with how much time is spent with technology gadgets. This includes texting, emailing, gaming, and using phones and tablets more than you should. It also includes Pinterest, Facebooking, Twittering, scanning the Internet, and going onto web sites you shouldn’t, etc. We’re talking about taking healthy control of your digital technology. We’re talking about digital invasion in marriage.
Digital Invasion in Marriage
This is discussed in Dr. Sylvia Frejd’s book (which is co-authored with her father, Dr Archibald Hart), The Digital Invaders: How Technology Is Shaping You and Your Relationships. It’s a real eye-opener! As Dr Frejd points out—the digital world drives wedges between spouses.
“How can technology drive a wedge in a marriage? Our digital technology is a barrier and an intimacy destroyer. It connects us with those far away but disconnects us with those sitting in the same room. We are having a lot of connections but not conversations. To have true intimacy in our marriage we need to have face-to-face, heart conversations. The best advice I can give to a couple is to leave their technology out of the bedroom.”
That’s difficult for some spouses to do, but it’s important. And sometimes, we need to get it out of other rooms, as well when it invades our personal time together.
As marriage expert, Doug Fields says, we need to:
“BEWARE OF DIGITAL INVASION. It can sabotage the time you NEED to spend with your spouse to grow your marriage. Sometimes it’s important to turn off your phone and other electronic devices. When you come home from work it’s too simple to get lost in texting, checking and reading from the phone [or computer]. Don’t make the mistake of believing you’re so critical to the world that you must be accessible at all times.”
Dave Boehi also warns couples on the digital invasion issue:
“We are tempted to think that our little ‘sips’ of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places —in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation. The drift from conversation to connectivity—from ‘talking to texting’ —should be a concern for any married couple.
“Other technologies—particularly television—have distracted us from conversation for many years. But recent advances give us the option to replace it. How can you develop and maintain a strong relationship with your spouse if you aren’t talking to each other?”
You really can’t. One shoves aside the other. And that is problematic, to say the least.
Is This Your Problem?
How do you really know it’s a problem? Sylvia Frejd gives this insight:
“What are some tell tale signs that reveal when we are headed to digital addiction? Today in our digital age it’s not a matter of ‘if’ you are addicted but how bad do you have it. Some signs you may be headed toward a digital addiction are:
• Staying online longer than intended.
• Lying about your digital use.
• Being anxious when you can’t be online.
• More time is spent in your virtual life than your real life.”
If you see yourself in that place, do what you can to break free. As it is with any addiction, flee! It can possess you and drag you away from using your good judgment. And if your spouse is captured by addictiveness, seriously ask the Lord to give you wisdom to know how to help him or her to break free.
To Help You in The Digital Invasion Mission:
Here are some linked articles that can help you, as you read, glean through, and apply what will work for you:
• INTERNET AND TEXTING RULES FOR COUPLES
• ARE YOU MARRIED TO YOUR CELL PHONE?
Cell phones can be great. So can most of the digital technology out there. There is balance, though, that is needed. We are to manage our technology, not allow it to manage us.
“Thanks to cell phones, we can always reach out and touch someone. But, is that touch a caress or a slap? When we need them, cell phones can literally be a lifesaver. At other times, they create an unwelcome interruption.” (Lynn Jordan)
Be intentional. Love the one you’re with. Don’t allow technology to grab your attention away from your spouse in ways that are intrusive to your marriage partnership.
Here are two helpful articles concerning digital invasion to read:
• HOW TO TALK ABOUT TECH AND MARRIAGE BOUNDARIES
• 5 WAYS TO KEEP SOCIAL MEDIA FROM RUINING YOUR MARRIAGE
As the Bible says, “There is a time for everything under heaven.” That includes being occupied on our digital devices when they invade the time we should be spending with our spouse. Our spouse should get more of our focused attention than our devices. We need to know when it is best to TURN OFF (our digital devices), and TUNE IN to our spouse. Give him or her more than just left over time. Invest more in that, which truly matters (or should matter)… your marriage.
May God help you to be wise in your technology use!
Cindy and Steve Wright
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4 responses to “Digital Invasion in Marriage”
Thanks for this post! We all can probably use the reminder to not get too wrapped up in our online world, to the neglect of spending time with our spouse. I see so many couples sitting together who are both on their smartphone (even at church and it isn’t because they are using it to read their Bible) and they are oblivious to their spouse and to the situation around them. It’s sad.
BUT… I must also share that we can use the connectedness of our culture to benefit our marriage relationship. I often text my wife during the day with something encouraging. Just a few minutes ago I sent her a text that said “Just thinking of you… xoxoxoxoxox”. You can use texting in many fun ways… Imagine both of you being at home, but in different rooms of your house… Then send your beloved a text that says “I’m really missing you, and I’d love to cuddle up with you right now. Meet me on our bed in 5 minutes? :>)” Could be the beginning of a sweet interlude during a busy day.
Thanks M for the affirmation. You are so right. There are concerns with technology, and there are good things. This web site is one of them… we get to participate with God in ministering to marriages. What a privilege!
This comment sparks the idea for the next Marriage Insight. We’ve covered the point of the “love/hate” relationship with the Internet and digital devices on Facebook and other Social Media articles, but doing an Insight on this would be good. We might even include your comment on the web site if that’s okay with you. Thanks so much for your comments. We truly appreciate you!
Cindy & Steve, You two have a great ministry! You are always free to use and share whatever I post here. Almost everything in our world has a good side and a not-so-good side to it. With technology, I think that we often forget to exploit the good side that can enable some fun, unexpected, encouraging communication with our spouse all throughout each day.
A-men to that, M. Thanks.