Shout out to our friend, Ayesha, who reminded us to unplug in her blog post entitled: The Social Media Fast! This is such a relevant topic for relationships because an addiction to one’s phone or social media can quickly deplete one’s relationship with self and others!
Have you ever felt like you needed a break from social media or from your phone? Have you ever been distracted by your online notifications even while you were with your partner? We did! If you’re too plugged in to your phone, then unplugging can save your relationship!
Devices can distract us from our relationship and from ourselves
When we first got together years ago, we were constantly (and almost unknowingly) letting our phone notifications distract us from quality time. At the height of this bad habit, we would get into arguments because we weren’t being as present or attentive as we normally would be. If we let it spiral, we probably wouldn't be together today.
We were fortunate to have noticed this trend early on (year 1 of our relationship), so we had time to build a stronger foundation. However, we still have work to do, especially because our jobs and side hustles partially depend on being connected to email and social media.
For example, we noticed that we let the bad habit slip back into our relationship... this time into the meal times that we cherish and share. Literally, we'd be having breakfast and/or dinner at the table, each scrolling through posts, emails, or articles, barely aware of our food or of each other.
Once we became aware of this, we decided to make a pact to stop using our phones while dining (not just when we were out, but at home too).
Create a no-phone zone
Addiction to social media, digital “noise” and technological overload are real things! Our best tactic is to create device-free time and space.
To do this, we a) identified and became aware of the problem to solve (distraction by phone); b) brainstormed a bunch of solutions; c) picked the one that made most sense for us: creating no-device meal times; d) and took baby steps to help keep each other accountable to our mutual goal.
The truth is, it took us more than a few meals to adjust to the new routine and become comfortable with a phone-free habit. It's been worth it so far!
Remember why it’s important
Just like with any behaviour change, there’ll be temptations to revert back. To counter this, it’s helpful to remember WHY we made the commitment in the first place.
There are two main reasons why we feel it’s important to unplug from our phones from time to time (specifically for us, at breakfast and dinner time):
Eating can be an act of mindfulness. We want to be present with our food and really enjoy each bite. This is great for one’s mind, body and soul!
We want to ensure we're making space for conversation and presence with each other. It’s easy to feel falsely connected to what our phones give us access to, and yet, to feel deeply disconnected from ourselves and from each other. By making meal times and other moments with each more scared, it helps us be more conscious of ourselves and each other.
Do you have any experience with this? What are some ways that you’ve tried or considered limiting device usage for your self-care and relational-care? Let us know on social, begin a discussion on our Community page, or send us a message.
If this concept is new for you and you’re not sure where to begin talking about the problem with your partner(s), but you want to, take a look at our Tea(m) Time blog post for some inspiration.
With love and light,