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Turn Off the Screen

(article originally published by startmarriageright.com)

There are a number of articles that have been published digging into how the social fabric of our culture is changing based on social media. The Atlantic published an article called “Is Facebook Making us Lonely?,” which is a long read but very challenging to our understanding about the impact of technology and social media.

Smart phones, tablets, and laptops have met and created a demand for instant communication, postings, and status updates. A friend mentioned to me the other day that he felt naked without his iPhone in his pocket (he’d left it at home earlier in the day). It was a joke, but it was truth. We don’t know what to do with ourselves when we are all alone. If we have technology and have a few moments to kill it’s really easy to check twitter, Facebook, or our favorite news site.

Is using technology stealing time from your relationships?
We all have a need to connect with others, and smartphones fill in that need really well. But in reality, they don’t. When we shut off the screen, we’re right back to where we started—alone.

I fall victim to this as well. I’ve been a smartphone owner for 6+ years now, and there are days that I wish these little boxes had never been created. Sure, they’re great for keeping tons of information in one place, replacing our need to carry a calendar, camera, address book, and more. But they’re an every present distraction.

I’ve noticed that my own tendency to use my iPhone comes when I’m need to escape. Most of the time I notice this at home. After a long day at work, I get to go home and work some more. The demands of relationships at home are ever present. Some days I do not want to engage because of the constant pull from my family. Sometimes I resent them for this and will steal 5-10 minutes with my iPhone or iPad. These devices are always on, available, and ready for me when I need them. They’ve taken the place of the dog as man’s best friend.

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