Why We Need To Detox Relationships
Threatening relationships the world over is the very thing that connects us to the world. It’s a catch 22 if ever there was one, but studies are pointing to the potential relationship wrecking status of too much technology time. Our need to connect could be robbing us of true connection with our loved ones.
According to Elise Heikkinen-Johnstone, a personal & organisational development practitioner in Namibia, “Technology today is truly wonderful how it helps with every aspect of our lives from banking to keeping fit. Smart phones and tablets also connect us so easily with our loved ones when travelling, or if you are in long distance relationship. However, I often see couples and families sitting in a coffee shop or a restaurant all in their individual worlds tapping away on their gadgets. There is no interpersonal communication at the table, only everyone staying in their internal virtual world with the many apps. As human beings we need face-to-face communication and also the physical closeness of one another.”
Ros Limbo, who writes for 99FM’s MYD notes that “We are great at making friends, having long chats and sharing pictures; as long as it is limited to social media. The moment when intimacy wishes to extend beyond the LCD screen, Millennials freeze.”
It’s not only millennials though, as reported by the Huffington Post “Technology has put our relationships in beta, redefining how we communicate our desires and trust one another.”
Elise goes on to explain, “A large part of human communication is non-verbal, including posture, hand gestures and facial expressions. These are difficult to experience in the presence of technology. If the person we are having coffee with is constantly busy with his/her gadget, it sends a non-verbal message that my gadget is more important than you.”
The Huffington Posts writes, “It is now an uncontested fact that technology is pervasive throughout our lives. But how often do we assess its presence in our relationships, recognizing how, exactly, it has impacted the way we interact with those closest to us?”
Elise says that a regular stock take on how technology is affecting our relationships is critical if we want to maintain intimacy with our partner and not with our smart phones.
According to Elise, “there are few things we can do to take stock on what impact technology has on our relationships.”
Her advice is to first check in with yourself to see where you stand regarding technology usage within your relationship.
- Become aware when is it acceptable to engage with my gadgets, as every situation is certainly not ok.
- Ask yourself what is important to me: having a loving relationship or many friends in my virtual world?
- Ask yourself if your use of gadgets/technology bothers your loved ones?
Next, Elise notes that “regardless if you see your frequent technology use as troublesome or not to your relationships, I would suggest some serious weekly technology-detox time.”
Elise’s tips include:
- When you are with your loved ones, have a rule not to use your gadgets unless you expect a life/death matter communication that has to be dealt with. Even then, inform your significant other that you are expecting this communication.
- Turn your gadgets off for one weekend a month and use that time with loved ones. It can feel scary but is well worth it and can be truly liberating.
Elise Heikkinen-Johnstone is a licensed Heal Your Life® Teacher and Coach. Get in touch with her or sign up for one of her transformative workshops by clicking here : Life Connections Namibia