Picture this: you sit down to supper with your sweet spouse, put your napkin in your lap and prepare to dig into homemade chicken pot pie and a fresh garden salad with mason jars full of sweet tea… and two pretty cellphones on the side. This seems to be a standard menu these days, right? Welcome to our discussion about the hint we almost dubbed “Put Down Your Technology.”
After an extensive discussion with my other half, we decided that “Being Present” better encompasses the technology giant that prances around in the background of our day-to-day as well as the over-arching idea of taking a step back and appreciating life at it happens. These days, those two ideas often go hand in hand.
Before we begin, full disclosure: both my husband and I fail at this hint on a regular basis, which is probably why we think it’s so important. With our numerous responsibilities and multiple connections through social media, it’s not easy for us to unplug, and I don’t think we’re alone in this.
Here’s the struggle for us all: Technology is necessary. When used properly, it can be a huge blessing. We are currently living long distance from family and friends, which is made easier through phone calls and FaceTime, emails and Facebook. Plus, when lots of people our age don’t have a landline, our cell phone functions as an emergency contact, making us more hesitant to stash it away for hours at a time. However, we have to remind ourselves that this doesn’t give us an excuse to be nose-in-a-cellphone and slurping spaghetti at the dinner table instead of engaging in actual conversation with the person in front of us. It also doesn’t give us an excuse to take 311 photos on a hike then miss the sunset at the top of the mountain because we’re too busy trying to pick the perfect image to instagram. Ouch.
Making memories is about intentionally being present. As hard as it is to imagine, there was a time in OUR lives when we didn’t have such amazing technology but were still somehow able to remember, and even share, everyday moments.
To tackle these technological challenges and assist us with intentionally “being present,” Kyle and I have put a few policies in place. We have regular technology-free dinners, and we charge our phones outside the bedroom at night. We work to be purposeful about turning our computers off after working hours, and we set boundaries with social media. We work at these strategies, but are admittedly far from perfect. We keep trying, though, because we feel they’re essential to the health and longevity of our relationship.
Today’s summary? Make room for conversation. Sit down and look at each other face-to-face and have a real, live conversation. Go and make a memory. Unplug your technology and tune into your relationship. I promise you won’t miss out, and you might be surprised by what you’re able to experience when you’re genuinely ‘being present.’
How do you unplug? How are you deliberate about being present in your relationship? Share your hints and tips below. I’d love to learn from you!
P.S. Catch up on past hints here: #1, #2, #3 and #4!
All photos by Kt Crabb, one of our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors. See them all in this Facebook Friday feature!