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Put down that cell phone!

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Are you spending more time on your device than with your partner?

We all do it, sit starring at the screen in front of us, scrolling endlessly, not looking up for hours. We need to ask ourselves some questions, “ Am I spending more time with my electronic device than I am with my partner or spouse?” Or “Am I spending more time in the virtual world than the real one and is my relationship suffering because of it?”

You won’t be alone if the answer is yes to these questions. A study has shown that as much as 71% of people spend more time on their phones than they do with their partners. A whopping 51% of people spend more than 3 hours a day longer on their phones than with their partners.

In large part, this addiction to technology that we have is actually by design; researchers have found that social media networks, for example, are purposely built to keep you glued to the screen.

Has your partner ever said to you “Can you put your phone down so we can talk?” Nobody wants to feel less important than a metal box with knobs!

By identifying the bad habits that are harming your relationship, swapping them out with good habits, and talking to a therapist if the problem persists, you can strengthen your relationships and find real love in our social media-driven world.

In order to cut out bad habits from your day-to-day, you first need to identify what they are.

When you are with your partner don’t be tempted to pick up your phone as this can send a message that they aren’t important enough or interesting enough to hold your full attention.

Whether you’re eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, meals are the perfect time to catch up with your partner and ask them how their day has been or what plans they have. If you pick up your phone during the meal, chances are your loved one won’t be too thrilled. You are making them feel insignificant and unworthy and that’s really not fair!

Are you the type of person who checks social media before you say good morning to your spouse — and who checks it right before bed, too? If so, these habits can cause rifts in your relationship as your mind is elsewhere during the more intimate parts of the day. If any of the above are you then try adopting some of the tips below and make your partner feel they are special and you want to spend quality time with them after all isn’t that how you want to feel?

Delete the apps that take up the bulk of your time. If you don’t have the app you can’t keep checking it!

Put yourself in your partner’s shoes: How would you feel if your significant other picked up their phone in the middle of a conversation and started ignoring you? Chances are you wouldn’t be too happy. By trying to see things from your spouse’s perspective, it can become easier to ditch your phone when you’re together since you don’t want to hurt their feelings.

When you are spending time with your partner, leave your phone in another room. If you don’t have access to it you won’t be tempted to pick it up.

These are just a few simple things that can be done but if you are struggling and feel you need help to quit your social media addiction or if indeed you feel it is causing real problems in your relationship, I’m here to talk and help you overcome these issues.

Jimi D katsis Bristol-based consultant psychotherapist specialising in recovery from depression, anxiety, and trauma.

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