Technology has improved our lives in countless ways, but it can have a negative impact on your marriage if you don’t use it responsibly. How often have you been to a romantic restaurant and seen a couple sitting at a table together, each intently focused on their phones? They may be sitting right next to each other, but they’re actually worlds apart.
We had to do something. I told my husband I was very worried about how technology was hurting our relationship. Together we decided to cut out technology for a weekend and focus on each other. This turned out to be the best thing I’ve done for my marriage in a long time.
What We Cut Out
The first step was deciding what type of technology we would avoid over the weekend. We decided to cut out TV, email and all social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. I was quite nervous about it, but I knew we needed to do it. We unplugged the TV and turned off all our social media notifications. We also agreed to set our mobile phones to allow calls only from certain numbers (this was in case of any family emergencies). The most difficult part was agreeing only to look at our mobile phones if they rang.
All of this seems very drastic, and it felt quite uncomfortable at first. This made me understand just how attached to technology I had become. It wasn’t a pleasant realization. But my husband and I put our discomfort aside and went ahead with our plan.
More Time Together
One of the first things I noticed was how much extra time we had. Before, we would spend ages checking social media, compulsively checking email and staring at the TV. When we stopped doing this, we found we had so much free time. And we spent it all together.
With all our extra time, we had to find things to do. We went for a long walk, had a lovely picnic, went swimming together and even read short stories to each other. We ate breakfast together at the kitchen table for the first time in what felt like years. Most importantly, we had fun together and bonded in a way that we hadn’t done since we were newlyweds.
Once we started spending time together without technology, we began to communicate again. It felt as if we were getting to know each other again. We had real conversations, both lighthearted and serious. We talked about silly things, such as whether chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla. We shared jokes and stories, and we talked about what was happening in our daily lives.
In addition to these lighthearted conversations, we had more serious conversations about our values, beliefs, goals and dreams. It had been years since we’d discussed any of these vital things. These discussions helped us connect to each other again and brought us closer together.
Cutting out technology in general gave us more time together and helped us talk to each other again, but cutting out social media had another powerful impact. It stopped us from comparing our marriage and lives to those of our friends and family.
We had been reading and absorbing other people’s too-good-to-be-true posts about their supposedly perfect lives. This left us believing our relationship was a lot worse than everyone else’s. After we cut out social media, we were so much more satisfied without all this constant negative comparison. We were happier with ourselves and our relationship as a result.
Cutting out technology for a weekend gave us a chance to refresh our relationship and connect with each other again. Even though we won’t stop using technology completely, my husband and I have decided to have more technology-free weekends. We’ve also agreed to limit the time we spend watching TV, checking email and reading social media posts. I believe this will have a profoundly positive effect on our marriage, and I’d encourage you to give it a try too.
Have you tried cutting out technology for a while? How did it impact your relationship? If you haven’t tried it, will you try it now? Please let us know in the comments section.
About the author: Cassie is a tech blogger, so she struggled to cut technology out of her life for a weekend. But it certainly improved her marriage, and she hopes it will enhance yours too. You can read more of her work at Secure Thoughts.