(Last Updated On: January 23, 2018)
Man-droids – A new hybrid of humans in relationship with their smartphones
One of the biggest challenges relationships have in the age of modern technology, is the lack of human interaction. Though we have greatly enhanced our reach of communication by merging ourselves with our devices, statistics show that this current generation is the loneliest ever in history. So how do relationships survive in this era?
This is the age of smart devices and everyone is networked to everyone else. While we are grateful and appreciate the growth spurt in the area of technology, human beings are wired for one on one contact and not to become an extension of technology, “man-droids.”
Why is the smartphone is getting all the attention
Recently I was out to lunch with my family when I suddenly realized that everyone was on their smartphones for one reason or another. Fidgeting, texting, browsing; pick one! No one was talking to each other. I realized that we needed to be interacting and appreciating the time together, not spending valuable time on the phone checking in on others or other interests.
We must not allow ourselves to be influenced by technology to the extent that we become slaves to it. It is a tool and it should be used as such. We should not trade that precious opportunity to bond for anything else. Generally speaking, the relationships that matter most, are those that are right before us. That’s our investment, our sphere of influence and encouragement. Why spend it with a device when we could be using that time connecting with the others right in front of us. Communication and paying each other undivided attention is:
- the greatest expression of affection and respect in any relationship
- the hallmark of a healthy relationship
Together but still distracted – show some respect!
Wouldn’t you feel special if your special others, children, friends and business associates put away their phones and give you their undived attention, as much as possible when you are together? I am sure that would make you feel more important, comfortable and signal they are very interested in what you have to say. As a result, the conversation becomes more meaningful and productive as you reciprocate. Relations get the shot to grow here. Show someone undivided attention for a few minutes and you’ve got a “friend” for life.
The Smartphone vs Human – Quiz
Let’s see who is smarter!
Are we masters of our smart device? Agree or disagree with the following 10 statements as honestly as possible. Pass mark = 50%
The Smart test
- My smart device must be within two feet of me at all times
- I must examine a message the moment it comes through
- I communicate with my family via social media even though we are all at home
- I feel the urge to check my device randomly and fairly often
- I am like a fish out of water if I forget it at home
- I return home because I forgot it…and I don’t need it for work
- I bring it to the table when dining
- I take it to the bathroom
- I get the urge to check or respond to messages when I am driving
- I am in church, at a wedding or at a funeral and I find myself texting
Grade yourself…How did you do? No, you didn’t pass if you got more than 50% :). Actually, the higher the score, the worse you did.:)
Why good old conversation still works
Good conversation beats texting every time. Dialogue is probably the number one way not to be misinterpreted, engage and build lasting relationships. Yes! I mean actual face to face or (even telephone) conversation. Why? The reason is simple. When we interact on that level, we have the opportunity to clearly express what we say and not stand the risk of being misunderstood. I have had several experiences where I have had to call to clarify something I texted that came over in the wrong way. Has that ever happened to you? Texting is not enough to have that effect on anyone. The dynamics of spoken interaction (even if it’s telephone conversation) wins every time.
Put the smartphone away when at home
- Have a time for telling jokes and take turns. Corny or funny it doesn’t matter. This is great for emotional wellbeing as laughter releases stress and heals the body.
- Discuss your immediate goals with each other. Offer suggestions and encouragement.
- Chose a fun topic, such as, “the most embarrassing moment of my life.”
Set aside a time to play some board games where there is more personal interaction. This is a great way to boost a relationship. During this activity, experiences are created and cherished.
You express the real you with your frequent outburst of laughter, showing a fun side which might have been dormant for some time. As you engage in play in the light atmosphere, stress, broken relations and misunderstandings are forgotten. Something positive is happening in these moments. You are creating happy experiences and investing in memories that will last a lifetime. These will have a positive impact on your relationships going forward.
Schedule a time that suits everyone and do it in a consistent manner. You will see instantaneous benefits.
You can change the future with this simple method. Buy a board game! Remember, the magic is not in the board game, or whatever activity you chose to do without technology, but in the experiences created. Outsmart your smartphone today!
Do it now!
We appreciate your comments below. We want to hear about your experiences.