Screen Addiction Harms Relationships

In the past 5 years of this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about intimacy or marriage. That said, I guess those topics fit in the “more” part of my blog’s tagline, “Computing, Gaming, and more.” I jest. But I’ll broach the subjects in this post as they relate to technology.

With 20+ years of marriage — and 5 kids — marital intimacy is a subject of interest. So one related resource I like is Ultimate Intimacy.

First, UI has a smartphone app that I highly recommend (although I currently don’t have it on my minimized iPhone).

Second, the UI podcast is great. I listen to most episodes, and a recent one stood out from a “computing” perspective, which also happens to directly overlap a current subject of focus: Screen Addiction/Distraction.

In Ultimate Intimacy episode 91, here are a few things addressed concerning screen addiction:

  • It causes individuals to lose their freedom
  • It negatively impacts marriages/couples
  • It adversely effects society

Note that while smartphone display distraction hurts a person first, it then scales out to relationships and culture altogether.

I can say from experience that my own screen habits have distracted me from listening to my wife at times. She would be talking to me, but I would be compulsively checking my smartphone instead of listening to her. That’s not smart. Nor is it loving. I tried to half-way listen while glancing at my screen…I was trying to fool myself into thinking that sort of multitasking worked.

In fact, screen distraction hinders face-to-face communication, which in turn weakens a relationship. This is much less an issue now since I intentionally keep my phone off the bedside table; it resides atop the dresser out of arm’s reach.

One of the stats discussed on the podcast was how many hours on average per day a person spends on a screen. I admit that my own iPhone Screen Time, before I minimized it, reflected the stat with about 5 hours a day. It was too much.

The podcast also mentions an upcoming book by Nate Klemp that I’m interested in reading, “OPEN: Finding Freedom in a Screen Addicted and Divided World.” Hopefully it will bring compelling info and inspire me towards more mindful and moderate use of my internet-connected screens.

Will you give the Ultimate Intimacy podcast or app a try?