Mobile phones are no longer just for making telephone calls. We use our smartphones for directions, to send text messages, to take photographs, as an alarm clock, to socialize and to play games. According to tech experts, the capability of smartphones today is just scratching the surface of what phones will eventually do. They predict that in the future, your smartphones will control your home appliances, security systems, cars, and will even double as drones.
While much of this technology is great at allowing us to connect with friends and family from afar, the smartphone may be interfering with your relationships in the here and now. These are the worst smartphone sins you may be committing:
The biggest difference between mobile phone use today versus ten years ago is that the phone becomes our constant companion, even when we are hanging out in the same room with an actual person! Checking in with Facebook, Instagramming dinner and monitoring Pinterst may be part of your daily life, but try not to do it when you are outside the home enjoying time with another person. That means you must put away your phone during the movie and refrain from looking at it when you are at dinner. When someone is trying to speak with you, but your attention keeps being drawn to whatever is happening on the phone, resentment may seep in. If the phones are too much of a temptation, leave them in the car.
When your attention wanders, this begins a bad habit of poor or no communication. Being able to talk about your feelings is essential for a healthy relationship. But our lives are so busy now it is often hard to make the time to sit down and discuss important issues. Never use your phone when the two of you are talking about something serious. Ask your significant other to please turn the phone all the way off, since the constant beeps, clicks, whooshes and other status notifications are likely to interrupt your conversations.
Lack of Empathy
Researchers have found that constant smartphone use can turn into an obsession that results in lack of empathy for other people. Some people are so preoccupied by posting their selfies and staging perfect photographs that they block out sensitivity to other people’s emotions. This is especially damaging when the other person you should be sensitive to is a person you love. You may find yourself craving the opinions of others, but those “likes” are meaningless, because many of those connections do not even exist in the real world.
Tips to Maintain Good Communication and Break Your Smartphone Addiction
1. If any of these things seem to be impairing your relationships, share this article with your husband or significant other. Promise to reevaluate your smartphone use.
2. Look at your social media accounts. If you post more than 1 selfie a week, you are sliding into obsession territory. Remember, it is not important how your relationship, house and possessions look to other people; what matters is how your relationship actually feels.
3. Avoid using your smartphone in bed or in the bathroom. If you can’t ride an elevator or brush your teeth without peeking at your phone, then you might have a problem.
4. You and your significant other can reward yourselves for spending a few hours phone free. You might be surprised at how much more enjoyable it is to look at your smartphone after you’ve had a little time and distance.