Ten years ago, I wrote an article about the influence technology has on our relationships. Since then, technology has only advanced, with the development of apps for everything, even the ability to grocery shop 24 hours a day.
Then there’s eBay. Pinterest. Facebook. Craigslist. Amazon. Smartphones. YouTube. Twitter. iPads. DVRs. Netflix.
Technology allows many benefits. Just the other day my wife made an incredible meal that she discovered on Pinterest. Recently, like many of you, I won an auction on eBay.
We continually have new technology that certainly can make our lives easier. You can now check your email on your phone and access the web, and even print wirelessly. Booking a hotel or airline ticket is as easy as a few clicks. You can even scan a check with your cell phone and have it deposited into your bank account without ever going to the bank.
Cell phones allow us to get business done while on the road and not only when tied to our desk at work. And voicemail cuts down the need for repetitive calls in hopes of delivering the same message. And who hasn’t been saved a time or two by text messaging?
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It seems that no matter where we look, we see efforts to make our ever-complex life less demanding and more efficient. With all this great technology, you’d think we’d have so much spare time we wouldn’t know what to do.
Yet most would agree that more often than ever before, we find ourselves doing more and begging more for a needed break. Even our youth are more stressed, with a Reuters health survey reporting that 1 in 3 teens report feeling stressed out on a daily basis.
As life has continued to increase in complexity and busyness, its effects have often leaked into the home. The place once seen as a sanctuary from the world is now more connected to the world than ever before through computer, internet and TV packages of 200 channels. And despite National Eat Together week occurring each September, the number of families dining together each night continues to drop.
How has this invasion affected couples? For the unprepared, it has caused much chaos and damage. Instead of spending the evening together, for example, one may spend the evening in their home office, catching up on work with the company’s laptop.
Another spouse may stay busy watching an exciting game of bowling from Beijing; a luxury heretofore unavailable until such worldwide coverage became available simply by the touch of a button. And a DVR, while convenient, will hold more shows than you can watch in a week straight. And Netflix always has something streaming you can get addicted to.
I have even heard multiple stories of couples out on a date while one person conducts business on the company cell phone. Irritated by such, one woman I know called her husband from her cell phone, reminding him that they were on a date. With him unaffected by such a prompt, she later used the same cell phone to call her divorce attorney.
So how are successful couples responding to all of these new technological invasions? Instead of letting them push their relationship farther apart, they’re using them to enhance their love and friendship.
For example, each happy couple should have their partner’s phone number programmed in their cell phone, and perhaps even have a special ring just for them (as long as it’s not the theme song from Jaws, of course!). And what better thing to do then call your partner when you know they won’t be there, just to leave a voicemail that you’re thinking about them.
Don’t forget the power of text to send a quick note. One woman I know programmed a daily “love ya” reminder in her husband’s cell phone calendar.
A happy husband I know programmed his wife’s cell phone to display “I love you” each time she turned it on. And what better way to use the modern conveniences of microwaves and Netflix than to enjoy a popcorn and movie night together once the kids are in bed.
One of my favorite quotes states “The difference between tragedy and opportunity is how you respond to it.” Clearly, as the world becomes a more complex and busy place, how we respond to such technological advances can either bring us closer together or drive us further apart.
For more tips on keepin’ love alive, visit www.panhandlecouples.com.
Remember, couple relationships are easier than you think, but harder than you act.