Intimacy via mobile devices is under-rated. We’ve all heard the warnings about the over-use of our smart phones: They so easily absorb our attention as we peruse through Facebook posts, scan for interesting photos on Instagram, check the newsletters we subscribe to, tweet our friends, find cute cat videos and funny puppy memes, or whatever. But we can turn that into communication that’s both fun and beneficial to our love relationship.
The danger of internet-connected phones, in regards to our relationships, is that they promise instant gratification, a dopamine hit that makes our brain feel great, and an escape from the hard work of building intimacy. For this reason, we do need to limit how much time we spend with it. We do need to pay attention to its seductive power that enables procrastination. We do need to make sure we’re not using it to avoid dealing with a problem. We do need to look up and make eye contact when our sweetheart speaks to us. (And we do need to actually speak.)
Ralph and I text each other when we’re in opposite ends of the house, and we joke about it as the texting continues while approaching each other to meet up. It’s good for a laugh. Laughter builds intimacy.
In restaurants, we like to play the game Words With Friends on our phones — together of course. To people at nearby tables, it looks like we’re not connecting with each other, but if they observe long enough, they can see us gleefully interact when one of us plays a surprising word.
What do you do with your mobile device that connects you to your beloved who is in the same room with you? Ralph likes to show me funny memes about the elderly (turning the stress of caregiving into laughter). He shows me (not by forwarding to me but by pointing his device at my face) the messages he’s posted to our daughter on Facebook.
Devices that can so easily isolate us from personal intimacy can just as easily be used to draw us together.
- How much time do I spend on the internet when my beloved is nearby (not including work-related or research purposes)?
- How do I feel when I see my beloved spend more than a few minutes seeking entertainment on the internet?
Strengthen your relationship:
Share your feelings about the use of social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and various other attention-grabbers of your mobile devices. What would you like to do together with them or without them? How can this nurture your relationship? Finish with a prayer asking Jesus to help you put to right use the internet tools you enjoy. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what is a good and right use.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries