How Cell Phones Are Ruining Relationships – Smartphone Addiction

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(Last Updated On: August 1, 2019)

Are you a man-droid – A new hybrid of human, in relationship with your smartphone?

One of the biggest challenges relationships have today is communication – or not spending enough time with one another. The lack of human interaction suggests that we may prefer to hang out with “things.” Though we have greatly enhanced our ability to communicate far and wide by merging ourselves with our devices, statistics show that some, in particular, Generation Z, are the loneliest ever in history. So how can we have meaningful relationships nowadays?

In this era of smart devices, everyone is networked to one another via apps such as games, messenger chats, email, social media… While we appreciate the convenience technology has provided us in bombarding us with the latest news and distractions, human beings are wired for one-on-one contact; meaningful activity which leads to meaningful relationships.

Do you know that there is actually a smartphone addiction disease called nomophobia? No, it’s not a typo :-).

Keep the Smartphone Away from the Dinner Table

Some time ago, while at lunch with my family, I noticed that everyone was on their smartphones for one reason or another. Fidgeting, texting, browsing; pick one. We weren’t talking. Then it struck me that we needed to be socializing and appreciating those moments together – not spending valuable time on the phone with others. Sadly, these are the things that come back to haunt us when our loved ones are no longer with us. Trust me. Let’s maximize every opportunity to live in every moment.

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. People shouldn’t have to compete with devices for our attention.

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 to connect with the people right in front of us. Communication and paying one another undivided attention is:

  1. the greatest expression of affection and respect in any relationship
  2. the hallmark of a healthy relationship
  3. having the right perspective on priorities

Is your smartphone your significant other?

Show some respect! Wouldn’t you feel super awesome if your family, friends, special other, business associates put away their phones to give you their undived attention when you’re together? I am sure that would make you feel more important 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 a shot at growing here. Show someone undivided attention for a few minutes and you’ve got a friend for life. Is your smartphone controlling you?

The Smartphone Addiction 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%

  1. My smart device must be within two feet of me at all times
  2. I must examine a message the moment it comes through
  3. I communicate with my family via WhatsApp – social media even though we are all at home
  4. I feel the urge to check my device randomly and fairly often
  5. I am like a fish out of the water if I forget it at home
  6. I return home because I forgot it…and I don’t need it for work
  7. I bring it to the table when dining
  8. I take it to the bathroom
  9. I get the urge to check or respond to messages when I am driving
  10. 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 articulate 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 fully express what you mean. The dynamics of spoken interaction wins every time.

 

Turn the Smartphone off – Spend Quality Time With…

  • 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 one other. Offer suggestions and encouragement.
  • Choose a fun topic, such as, “the most embarrassing moment of my life.”

Board games

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 choose to do without technology), but in the experiences created. Outsmart your smartphone today!

Do it now!

See this article on cell phone addiction statistics

We appreciate your comments below.  We want to hear about your experiences.

Recommended reading here

Recommended reading.

Horns are growing on young people’s skulls. Phone use is to blame, research suggests.


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2 Replies to “How Cell Phones Are Ruining Relationships – Smartphone Addiction”

  1. Hello David,
    First off I have to say I love the term “mandroids”. If that is a word you came up with – trademark it pronto!
    Secondly I have to tell you I agree with you wholeheartedly. The sad state of affairs with smartphones is upon us and only seems to be getting worse. I have a 14 and an 18 year old daughter – I know from in-depth personal experience.
    The age of technology is costing us our humanity. I cannot agree with you enough regarding putting down the phone and ensuring you have some quality time with the ones your love. I heard Simon Sinek say how when he and his friends go out to dinner only ONE of them will bring a phone and it’s for emergencies only. They don’t want the distraction when they have the opportunity to all get together. Brilliant.
    Thanks for sharing my friend,
    Mat A.

    1. Thanks very much for your comments Mat.

      Yes we do have to set some guidelines and manage tech well, less we lose our humanity…  I too know that battle having three sons…hmmm.

      Thanks again Mat.

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