Does Your Relationship Need A Digital Detox?

Picture this: A beautiful Sunday morning at a beachfront café. After a stressful work week, you and your man are sitting down for a relaxed brunch & some quality couple time. You’re discussing the idea of summer vacation, dreaming up ideas of where you might enjoy more quality time together. Before you can say, “French West Indies,” his cell phone starts buzzing, a call is coming in. Without meeting your eyes, he reaches for the phone. Excitedly, he says “Hey Man, whaz up?” He and his buddy grunt out a quick conversation about a pickup ball game later that day, which, of course, seems completely meaningless to you. He disconnects, and you are now disconnected from him. Your “Boy-are-you-in-trouble” expression solidifies as your honey looks up and says, “What?”

What ensues is not pretty. What’s the real issue here? It is not the cell phone or its use in our society. As a therapist, the beef I have with digital distraction, is that when cell phones are allowed to interrupt a conversation or replace the conversation that is going on, their use is often a cop-out for intimacy and also demonstrates an inability to set boundaries in a fast-paced, ever-connected world.
Put simply: Excessive cell phone use allows us to hide away from our primary relationships…if we don’t really want to engage face to face for whatever reason. If we are squirming in our seats during a conversation that is not going the way we like, we may check the screen to see if anything, something, could please possibly call our attention away.
As we head toward becoming a nation of hyper-stimulated phone junkies, not only do we hide from others but from ourselves, and our deepest thoughts and feelings.
So, how do you know if your relationship is in jeopardy due to Digital Attraction? A couple of key questions:
Have you or your spouse ever spent a day being entertained by your phones, without making contact with another human being? Be honest here. And when was the last time you spent an entire day with your spouse and never checked your phone? Be honest here too.

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5 replies
  1. crocevephmab
    crocevephmab says:


  2. JeiThom
    JeiThom says:

    This post was good. And it's not just phone calls…it's texts, email, Twitter updates, FB responses that all can be accessed by today's most common mobile phones.

    The worst feeling is when you get home after a long day. Have few quick conversations with your spouse about work, kids, etc. and then your spouse sits down in a corner on the couch, dozes off, and falls asleep. This is normally OK & expected after a really rough day at work. But then THEIR MOBILE PHONE BUZZES and they instantly pop-up (totally wake) to send some responses to personal messages. And after those messages are answered, they go back to sleep. Really?! This is usually my "personal" ego-buster as it leaves me feeling like the most unimportant or uninteresting person ever. When it's me & my spouse alone, she's sleepy/tired — but when she gets a call or text, she's wide awake. And granted, this doesn't happen all the time, but often enough to actually hurt my feelings.

    My spouse & I have since discussed this very subject. And just like many other issues we've had, my spouse was almost totally unaware of how I could feel by the the way she acted or by the things she's done. But the most important thing is that my spouse knows how I feel.

  3. Stephanie Johanson
    Stephanie Johanson says:

    This is a wonderful post.

    I never had the opportunity of being entertained only by the phone and not contacting other people. I’ve a big bunch of friends and family members who would kill me if I did that. And as for spending an entire day only with my spouse, I’ve been lucky enough to have just got back from a special holiday with my husband just four days back. We spent an entire week together and took no phone calls….:)


  4. kym
    kym says:

    We need a detox DESPERATELY!!!!!

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