Does anyone else argue with their other half about the amount of time they spend on their phone? Or do your friends wind you up by being on Instagram when you’re trying to have a conversation over dinner? Trust me, I am well aware that I am the LAST person to pass comment on excessive social media use!
I’m a huge social media fan and, as a full-time blogger, using it is relevant and important to my job. A huge amount of my traffic comes via Facebook. In fact, for me, the line between work and play totally blurs with social media. I enjoy it all. I like to talk, across whatever medium, and with my close friends and family, as well and new and interesting strangers! I met my VERY good real life friends Emma (also known as my wife) and Naomi on Twitter, and we have been pretty much inseparable since meeting up two years ago. I digress, but these are all reasons I use to justify my use of social media being important.
None of these reasons, however, change the fact that it gets on my future husband’s nerves. Big style. I knew the topic would be addressed when we did our pre-marriage counselling (a prerequisite for a church wedding, and an optional for anyone else who fancies it) earlier this month. There’s not much we argue about but this, along with the more stereotypical housework issues, was a regular niggle. To cut a long story short, we ended up making a deal (I’m a person who likes black and white rules) that I’d stay off the internet (unless I really need to get work done) between 6.30pm (when he gets home) and 8.30pm every weeknight. This means I can no longer tweet The Voice. DISASTER. But seriously, it took me a lot of excuse-making before I agreed, because of things like that. “But it’s part of my job,” I exclaimed. What if my friends need to text me about something after work?!
And then the marriage counsellor lady said: “You keep talking about your friends, but what about this guy (gesturing towards the fiancé), who you’re telling me is your best friend?” BUSTED. Point made. Phone curfew implemented.
It’s been hard but the world hasn’t ended. Last night it was killing me not to tweet about Ricky Martin’s white pants. But it’s actually been really liberating and led to us being much more present with each other (wow, that sounds wanky!). Rather than sitting next to each other and watching TV or talking to other people (many we don’t even know), we’re having conversations. Or not saying anything but just enjoying being together, undistracted. In today’s super-connected world, it’s surprisingly nice to take a break. And I never thought I’d catch myself saying that.
Recently, I’ve even found myself getting a bit offended when friends are on their phones during social occasions or when we’re trying to have conversations (again, pot–kettle, but manners are manners!). I wonder if we’re reaching saturation point.
What do you think? Are you guilty too?
Fi @ My Mummy Daze says
Jen this is sooo relevant to us! But the problem is double-sided. We’re both hooked, not just me! Our ‘down time’ is zoning out in social media and various interwebs. We quite comfortably sit in silence next to each other on our own devices. The problem is the obvious one though. The more connected we are online, the more disconnected we are with each other. Hello balance?? I think it’s coming to a head soon though. Something definitely needs to change if we value matrimonial harmony!! Fi xxx
Jen Bishop says
I think for us, or I should say for me, putting a hard and fast rule around it was the only way to change things! It’s hard! It isn’t just mobile phones and online either, I think in general we have all become so distracted by EVERYTHING we often forget to just hang out together and spend quality time. But when we do, it’s so nice! x
Yes – and no. There is a time and a place – and if you are in a personal/social setting then i think it the height of rudeness to be checking or texting or whatevering on your phone constantly. You are there to connect – that cant be done if your whole self isnt there. That being said – boring parties dont count 🙂
Jen Bishop says
No, boring parties are fair game! 😉
Just wanted to say that I am loving your ‘off-topic-Tuesday’ posts!! Have also become a much bigger fan (already loved it though) of our blog since you went ‘full time’ – well done!
Jen Bishop says
Thanks Nicole! I hope it’s a better blog since I went full-time 🙂
Get off your phone! 😉
Chloe Hamilton says
i can totally relate to this, but more from your other half’s side!!
my partner and i are both huge culprits of overusing our phones and social media – in the evenings sitting in front of the TV its worse! But i feel like i make a big effort to put my phone down for the majority of the evening, i’ll check it when i get home and then leave it for the rest of the night.
my boyfriend on the other hand, is TERRIBLE! he doesnt put his phone down, or look up from it, at me or even at the TV from when he gets home and sits on the couch at 6 to when we go to bed at 10! i get in trouble for trying to talk to him or interupting what he’s doing and i HATE it. we have had many arguments over it, but his argument is always that after a long day of work, he finds it relaxing to sit and persue the latest social media happenings, or browse ebay for more boys toys – to him its a way to unwind.
i still think he could put the phone down after an hour and like you said – just sit together and enjoy one another’s company!
maybe i will have to try the phone curfew method – do keep us updated as to how this goes for you!
Jen Bishop says
See, to me, it seems a shame he can’t wind down and relax by talking about the day to his girlfriend! Looking at a screen all the time actually doesn’t relax you either, it stimulates your brain and stops you switching off. There’s research that proves it an everything! I used to say all the same sorts of things to excuse my overuse, but I think we all need to look at the bigger picture! Good luck!
I am not at all guilty as seldom use my phone after hours however I appreciate that some do. What really annoys me is those who get on the train in the quiet carriage and then proceed to pull out their phone and talk for the entire journey. Can these people not survive a 20 minute journey without informing the entire carriage of the most intimate details of their lives? Those of us who choose to get in the quiet carriage want to wind down from the day not listen to what someone’s boyfriend did to them last night or that the poor girl in accounts doesn’t shave her legs.
Jen Bishop says
I can’t stand people talking loudly on public transport full stop! I actually HATE doing it myself so will only take a call if I really have to and then will talk quietly and be embarrassed! There’s a time and a place!
David Wang says
My wife and I make it a point to put down our devices during meals (after the obligatory food instagrams) and outings. Some practical advice regarding work / life separation: be honest with yourself about what you are on your phone for (e.g. is tweeting about The Voice really related to IA work) and impose “business hours”. If it’s outside of work hours then you shouldn’t be doing social media “for work” 🙂
Jen Bishop says
Of course The voice is relevant to interiors, what are you talking about?! 😉
Call me old fashioned, but if I’m having an in person conversation with someone I don’t want the topic to change to something someone I don’t even know posted on Facebook. The occasional glance at the phone doesn’t bother me. I’m not asking for miracles, just politeness. St Petersburg Architect