Let’s face it, we live in a World that is ruled by our technologies. Whether its posting things to social media, or communication, we have been overtaken by our devices. It’s sad to think that generations after us will have limited face to face social skills. How do we get back to real genuine talk? Not texting, not instant Facebook messenger, but real social engagement, with a person, and not a device?
It’s not that cell phones are bad. They have become a safety device that helps us find our way when we’re lost, they assist us in keeping up with new trends, allow us to follow our favorite sports team, the list goes on and on. The problem with these “electronic leashes” is that we rely so heavily on them for COMMUNICATION that we go stupid when we should be able to talk face to face. We don’t feel safe expressing ourselves without the protection of a screen and a keyboard to act as a shield to hide our flaws.
Relationships with our partners will deteriorate if we’re not careful. AND THEY ALREADY ARE. When was the last time you went out to dinner with your family and looked at the table next to you to see both kids on iPads with headphones, the Dad scrolling through his phone, and the Mom sitting their exhausted wondering how this became her life? We all wanted and intended for our family to be the exception. Our family is supposed to be the family that sits at dinner, shares their day, and grows closer over the meal you personally made with love and affection. Sadly, society has forgotten one key point about this long sought after fairytale.
Communication is a skill. A skill that needs to be worked on continuously to achieve one’s desired results. Phones, tablets, video games, even the Internet, all act as distractions which prevent the modern family from cultivating the skill of communication. There is a solution and it starts at the head of the household.
How do we get our partner to start talking to us again? Do we even want talking? Or do we want SHARING?
Partners need to share with each other. Sharing will allow you learn those tiny details that no one else knows. Sharing trigger memories, tastes, smells, EMOTIONS. Sharing makes you grow closer, grow stronger, and ultimately fall asleep next to each other that night knowing that your relationship practiced the skill of communication, and put forth the necessary effort to forge into tomorrow as a family, and not as roommates.
Tips for practicing Communication and Sharing
- Leave your phones in the car. However, if you’re in a situation where you need a cell phone on your date (kids at home with the babysitter, etc.) then make a fun competitive game out of not looking at your cell phones. Whoever goes the longest without looking at their phone wins, or whoever looks at their phone less throughout the night wins. Make it fun and worth being the winner. You could have a sexy prize for the winner or the loser must buy dinner, etc. Keep it light. This allows you two to pay attention to the amount of times you WANT to look at your phone instead of engaging with your partner.
- Schedule Technology Free Times. One hour a day of no internet, no phones, and no technology may seem awkward at first. That awkwardness is exactly why you need to institute this policy today. (Tip* changing or disabling the Internet password helps your cause)
- Be the Champion in your neighborhood or amongst your social circle. The truth is most households are dealing with this very issue. YOU CAN HELP!
- MAKE IT A GAME. GAMES ARE FUN. There are a ton of resources out there that helps couples to break the ice, re-engage, and begin sharing. One of newest icebreaker games which can be played at parties is called “Rehab-a couples release.” For $17.95, the game presents open-ended questions that each player takes turns asking the other. It encourages you to dig deep, and get to SHARING. No technology needed. For couples who have been together for a long time, it gets them to reminisce on the past. For couples who have just started dating, it allows you to uncover and learn things about each other. It’s a very non-threatening game geared towards true social interaction. Host a dinner at your place, offer some good wine, invite other couples who may be interested and play “Rehab- a couples release.”
Rehab- a couples release, is available at www.REHABGAMINGUSA.com