Is Your Phone Ruining Your Relationships?

Zechariah Newman —  October 9, 2014 — 15 Comments

I hate having a meaningful conversation and watch the other person stop looking at me and look down at his or her phone. The conversation energy just completely stops. It makes me feel really important to the person. Okay, maybe not.

You see the same thing in restaurants. Couples looking down and fiddling on their phones. It is sad to me that in a connected world we have become isolated.

I am ashamed to say that I started to do the same things. I stopped being present in the moments with those I love. Looking down at my phone when it went off. Social media began to control me instead of me using it as a tool.

With a world that never stops, I began to remove all points of quiet out of my day outside of that first few hours that I didn’t have my phone. The phone would interrupt my work, writing, family time, prayer, and other things throughout the day.

I at least, felt a little powerless. I believe most people like me are a little powerless. That is why I have made a choice. I no longer have Facebook and Twitter on my phone. If this doesn’t help I will get rid of my smart phone all together.

Are you present with those physically with you? How many times a day do you check your Facebook or Twitter? Track it for one day. In 2013 ABC did a study that the average user checks 14 times a day. I was checking more than that. Yikes!

I still get on social media to post and respond, but for me, social media plays into a weakness having such easy access. Some are stronger than me and that’s okay. Know yourself; weaknesses and strengths.

The experts would say I am wrong with this and I need to be everywhere all of the time. That is why I haven’t done it until now. My dream was feeling like a nightmare. I have decided my family is more important.

A funny thing has happened. I am now getting more traction now that I am not wasting away my day being interrupted.

What stand will you make? I would encourage you to chase your dreams in a way that makes sense for you and your family. Use Hootsuite to post at certain times and only get on social media when it makes sense for you. Stop being controlled by the tool of social media and take your life back. Be blessed on your journey.

Do you have a problem with your smart phone?

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  • Really great post. I struggle with this too. When I’m at work, I have to put my phone on silent and turn it face down because FB messages are always popping up. I also have to keep it closed on a browser so I don’t hear notifications. I applaud your courage in deleting the apps from your phone. I may do that also.

    • Thanks Kent. It has been a month so far and I am really happy with my choice. It requires more planning but is worth the effort. Blessings friend:)

      • One night not too long ago I went to bed and wasn’t quite sleepy. I started scrolling through Facebook feeds and 1/2 hour later thought, “Why am I wasting my life doing this?!” LOL

  • Powerful post. I have never let my phone control me. I realized I don’t need to be connected at every waken moment. I don’t check FB or Twitter on my phone. I will never forget when we were at dinner one evening and I noticed a father and son at the table across from us. During the entire time the father was on his phone and not talking to his son. It reminded me to not let the phone get in the way of spending time with my family. You can always look at FB, twitter or text later. The time we miss with our family is time we can never get back.

    • It is a shame for sure. So glad you have never had a problem Bernard. The sacrifice is never worth it Bernard, thank you.

  • This is good, Zech. I too removed Twitter from my phone because it was dominating my life and I was neglecting my wife and children. I try to limit myself and only check stuff occassionly. I recently wrote a post on Godly Writers about the disillusionment of platform-building, which it can be such an allurement to us all. You can check it out here if interested. (Your post reminded me of that – nice to know we are like-minded brother.)

    • Nice Dave. Great post by the way:) We are like minded for sure. I need to be redirected often to realign with God’s path and list of importance.

  • I don’t use my phone much, but I’m on my laptop and iPad all day and sometimes into the evening. Rev and I take a couple of hours each evening to set everything aside and talk about our day. I love it.

    Your post was very affirming for me as I decided this morning to start limiting more carefully my time on those things I find agitating. Too much news, etc. It’s all about where we place our focus. Thank you!

    • Thank you Deb. Great rule with you and your husband. Way to be intentional! I wish that I could have that kind of control, I would have kept the apps:) Blessings to you Deb.

  • So important to your phone as a tool and to not let it control you. I have to do certain things to avoid being distracted by mine. For example, I turn off the volume at 9pm when my husband and I get a couple of hours alone together in the evenings. I do the same during family game time and dinners or if I’m spending time with friends in conversation. I don’t take my phone to church with me as a general rule either. When I’m home alone working during the day, I will sometimes put it downstairs where I can’t get to it easily, so I can focus on writing or whatever work I’m doing. If it’s next to me, I check it all too often. Point is, we just have to be deliberate about it not interfering with relationships and true connecting.

  • What a relevant post Zech. I’m trying to be more intentional about putting my phone aside so I can focus on my current tasks or what is going on around me. It’s a discipline worth having.

    • So worth the discipline. Thanks as always for your encouragement Dan. I value your friendship buddy:)

      • Glad to know you and be in your community.