What God has joined together, let no man put asunder is a popular saying that relates to marriage, and would be heard uttered in most wedding solemnization or ceremonies.

Let us paraphrase, and say,

What God has joined together, let no SMARTPHONE put asunder

There was a popular radio programme where the issue of excessive use of / focus on smartphones is causing a lot of stress in the homes, marriages specifically.

It was so funny if not that it is so tragic.

My husband is always on his phone. Perpetually.

Even while eating, he is browsing. We can’t have a conversation without his taking a peek at his screen, or tapping. He even takes it to the bathroom!

I have asked him, Are you married to me, or the the phone?

The couple get home after a day’s work, and instead of their sitting together to share some private moments together, discussing the day, one (or both) of them wipes out his smartphone, and starts playing a game or chatting on the social media, or reading an ebook.

This where you have one of the partners talking, and the other is replying with cryptic responses like,

Yeah, maybe, no, true, of course, uh_uh

… while the eyes are firmly glued to the screen and the finger is busy swiping, scrolling or tapping on that same screen.

Depending on the pervasiveness or frequency of the focus on the device, the partner could feel neglected and get miffed to the extent of snatching the phone and smashing it against the wall. Minimally, there could be deep resentment.

There is what is called Emotional Infidelity

A relationship between a PERSON and SOMEONE other than (their) spouse (or lover) that affects the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage.

If we replace ‘SOMEONE’ above with ‘SOMETHING’, we have the same effect of something negatively affecting the emotional closeness of a couple. That SOMETHING doesn’t have to be human

Are You Having An Affair With Your Smart-phone?

This situation is similar to the prevalence of sexbots (and other sex-toys) and whether a secret use of them by one of the parties constitute (emotional) cheating. Remember the (excessive) use of those things may make you desire your spouse LESS, and make you take your eyes off the relationship ball!

Paying more attention to your smart-phone when in the company of others (spouse or not) is considered discourteous. It could be likened to a disregard to the person you are with, when that other party obviously prefers to communicate with you.

Why go to a party, sit in a corner and interminably fiddle with your tablet 3 You could jolly well gave gone to sit quietly in a park!

However, a fixation on your phone could also be a result of addiction, not disregard, in which case the person can’t help himself / herself.

t could alternatively be because partner or company is boring, and an interaction on the phone is more exciting and is like an adrenaline shot.

NOMOPHOBIA Is Defined As Fear Of Being Without Your Phone, A Combination Of The Words No, Mobile And Phobia.

An Example Of Nomophobia Is What Someone Feels When They Travel Internationally Without A Working Cell Phone.

The husband that has his phone permanently in his hand or next to him may be suffering from the ‘illnesa’ above and need psychological help. The wife that takes the phone into the bathroom may not necessarily be hiding an extra-marital affair.

What some of the callers on the radio programme suggested to people feeling aggrieved about excessive focus of their spouses on their phones is:

– If the marriage has become boring or monotonous to the point where chatting with your buddies online, or scrolling through your Twitter feeds is more rewarding, find a way to rekindle the spark you had when you were dating. People would naturally gravitate to who/what makes them happy.

– Set periods when you would refuse to use your smartphone (apart from picking up a call), and both of the couples should stick to the rule.

– Occasionally refuse to subscribe to data (or subscribe to minimal data) for the month. Less data would mean reduced online presence, and more time for your significant other.

– Use a non smart-phone when at home (or don’t want online interruption). Alternatively, have an app like AUTOMAGIC for Android to automagically switch off your data when you reach home (or anywhere you don’t want to have an online presence. This makes it easy to avoid the temptation to regress into your ‘solitary’ online activity when you get that whatsapp ping, or that Facebook alert.

Are you a Netizen? Would you rather stay indoors browsing, chatting on Twitter or playing games on your laptop than go swimming with your buddies, or go watch a game of football in the viewing center ?

I am addicted myself. Addicted to the boundless information and knowledge available on the worldwide web. Enthralled with the access to limitless possibilities resulting from this tech wonder called the smartphone. But I keep myself on a leash, and constantly make conscious effort to have a balance. It is tough I admit!

These technological marvels have changed our lives, made life very easy but can also negatively affect our social relationships if misused or used excessively.

You meet people online that translate to physical beneficial dealings offline, but then the reverse can also happen – a dissonance caused by too much attachment to our smart
devices (and detachment from the human being next to you) and what they stand for.

Moderation in everything – is key!

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