Technology and Relationships

Recently I was with a group of university students, and I asked them how they were handling the use of smart phones when they met for lunch or dinner. They said that much of the time it wasn’t an issue because no one really minded. But they also were getting creative when it was an issue. For example, they often agreed to the following: checking your phone is okay until the food comes, and then everyone agrees to stop and converse. A few make a game of it – first one to answer the phone pays for dinner!

Technology is here to stay, and not many of us would like to be without it! In all relationships that matter to us, however, we must be able to speak up if we would prefer to have the other person’s attention.

This week’s blog post is all about considering a few family agreements to protect the times when we want family members to give their attention to something other than what they might access via technology. Perhaps it’s time for reading a good book, for a board game with a younger sibling, or for conversation at the dinner table.

I’m also reminded of the adage: What you resist will persist. Outlawing technology won’t work. Agreeing on some family guidelines for it will.

Take care,
Paul Axtell


“The great myth of our time is that technology is communication.”
– Libby Larsen, American composer

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