I will always remember the dad that came up to me after I spoke about screens and teens at a youth conference. "It's not my kids that I have a problem with. It's my wife."
What had begun as a positive use of Twitter to stay in touch with her friends had turned into an obsession. This wife had started using Twitter to encourage women at church, tweeting short verses or prayers to women in need.
But now, his wife was constantly scanning her Twitter feed, even on date nights. She had earned the nickname "Twitter Queen" from her husband's friends because she was constantly using her phone in her spare time.
This husband didn't know what to do.
He said, "She such a great wife in every other way. But I've talked to her about this but she doesn't stop. I don't want to nag her about it, but it drives me crazy when we're driving in the car and she's on her phone."
This husband is probably not alone in his frustration. Many times in a marriage, one spouse uses technology more than the other. We can be glued to our phones while we're walking from the car to the store. At home, it's easy to face a screen and get lost in it. We're busy checking emails, social media, stock prices, news, and text messages. Headlines grab our attention and curiosity while our spouse and children sometimes go unnoticed.
No one wants to compete with a screen to get a loved one's attention.
If you tend to be the one catching up on texts, emails and social media instead of simply being completely present with your husband or kids, here are a few ideas to get less entangled by technology and more connected to your loved ones:
When your phone beeps, don’t pick it up immediately.
I know you’re curious about what that text says, but practice that self discipline of waiting. Restrain yourself from responding to everything that comes across your phone in a rushed manner. Pick up your phone 15 minutes later to check. That text or email will still be there.