Oh, technology: Can't live with it, can't live without it! On the one hand, technology enhances our ability to connect with others and is definitely responsible for many a modern marriage. On the other, though, when abused, it can cause a major disconnect between couples and quickly become a bone of contention in the relationship. Here are three ways tech is intruding on your love life and quality time and what you can do about it right now.
1. There's always a third wheel tagging along in the bedroom
"It's hard to imagine that couples would rather check e-mail and watch Netflix than get intimate, but the reality is, tech is keeping sex out of the bedroom," says relationship expert and author April Masini. For example, we bet you can think of more than a handful of times you tried to initiate sex or cuddle up with your guy (and vice versa), yet he was too busy making googly eyes at his phone to reciprocate your advances. Our advice? If you absolutely must have tech in bed, put that iPad down, brides, and pick up a sex toy instead!
2. Your conversations suffer from constant interruptions
Can you recall the last time you had a conversation with your significant other without an iPhone in hand or within reach on top of the table? If it's been a while, you're certainly not alone. According to Masini, there's a level of distraction that exists today thanks to technology, like one violin string playing in the background, which prevents us from achieving deeper intimacy. "When you or your spouse are trying to relay a story about work or something difficult that's happening in one of your lives, there's a good chance that someone is checking e-mail at least once every ten minutes," she explains. To kick the bad habit and sharpen your listening skills stat, Masini recommends making a conscious effort to turn the tech off for important chats. Take it one step further by implementing a no tech rule at the dinner table. You'll be surprised by how much quality time you can steal back this way.
3. You're more concerned with documenting the moment than actually being in it
"It's almost as if it didn't happen if it isn't on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or some other form of social media these days," points out Masini. And that, in and of itself, is a huge problem. Whether you're taking a hike together or are on an epic African safari, don't make it your first instinct to reach for your phone or camera to document your adventures, she warns. "Be present, focused and living in the moment." Then you can figure out your caption, choose the best filter and post all about it on social media afterward!