by Jeremy Hillpot
Imagine for a moment all the lonely people of the world — propped up in the darkness of their bedrooms, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to “connect” with others. The blue glow of the screen dances across their faces. Aside from the quick movement of fingers and shallow breaths, they’re perfectly still — lifeless.
It seems harmless enough. Nobody’s getting hurt, right? Now, imagine coming home after a long day at work only to sit next to your partner and continue to fall down the rabbit hole of email, news and social media and it’s easy to see how a screen addiction distracts us from authentic connection and intimacy. How awkward it is to consider that this is how so many people spend their time together unconsciously? And then we wonder why relationships are so hard!
So how do we move away from screen-based entertainment, and start having a deeper connection with our spouses and partners again? Establishing a new routine of physical touch is a great place to begin.
But first, how bad is the situation really?
How Much Time Do We Spend in Screen Land?
Most of us interact with a computer screen at work. If we eat lunch alone, we scroll through news articles and social media accounts while munching. Hopefully, we put away the screen in traffic — but a quick look at fellow motorists shows that many of them are scrolling at the wheel.
Just how bad is it? MarketWatch reported that, “American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen.”
If we sleep six to eight hours a day and spend a few hours doing chores, working out, grooming and taking care of the kids, it can be incredibly difficult to make quality time happen with your intimate partner.
How do Screens and Social Media Affect Relationships?
Social media platforms have been created to coax us into screen addiction without us ever realizing it. Each “like,” “heart” or comment triggers a release of the pleasure chemical dopamine, priming our brains to seek this kind of impulsive and unpredictable rush over and over again (which, in turn, can spike levels of anxiety when we don’t receive it). That said, we still go willingly into the digital world — most likely because we don’t feel satisfied with our real-world relationships.
If we aren’t feeling a gratifying sense of human connection in the real world, it’s only natural for our need for connection to draw us deeper into the digital world. But ultimately, this is a shallow replacement for real human connection. Even worse, an over reliance on screen-entertainment will deprive us of the greatest joys of life, causing us to forget about human touch, love and healthy sexual relationships.
So how do we break the cycle? At Reign Together, we’ve learned that the power of human touch is one of the best ways.
Breaking Your Screen Addiction Through Human Touch
Moving away from the screen and closer to our partners, friends and loved ones is easier than you think, especially when you consider the rewards: deeper human connections, more cuddling, satisfying our thirst for touch, better relationships and greater enjoyment of life.
It takes awareness and a commitment to break what is likely a deeply ingrained habit to grow past a screen addiction. But as you implement the strategies outlined below and see how a simple massage, hug or cuddle time improves your life and relationships, it will start to become easier.
- Take a Digital Detox
The recommended strategies for a complete digital detox include:
- Set technology-free hours in the day.
- Banish electronic devices from your bedroom.
- Put away phones at mealtimes.
- Buy a real alarm clock instead of having a phone next to your bed.
- Use airplane mode during workouts.
- Try a 24-hour disconnect challenge (if you can).
- Deactivate all social media — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. — for a week and see if you want to go back.
- Do it all in real life. If it’s art you like, go to a museum instead of looking at Instagram. If it’s sex, have real sex instead of looking at sexy photos. If it’s talking and chatting, have coffee with a friend or join a group event. You get the picture.
- Turn Off Alerts and Notifications
Turning off alerts and notifications means your phone will stop buzzing and chirping all the time — and you will decide when to check it. This will help you focus on the real humans around you — and that will lead to more opportunities for touch, sex and intimate contact.
- Make it Fun
If a cold smartphone can hack its way into your dopamine receptors to distract you from sex and other fleeting opportunities for real connection, find ways to make touch the thing you do impulsively instead of checking your email or Instagram. Write down some ideas (on a physical piece of paper) to pull yourself and your partner away from the screen. Turn it into a game by drawing ideas from each other’s piles and actually doing what the paper says – even a simple as a kiss or foot rub will move you in the right direction and unlock the benefits of human touch. The goal is to make touch, sex and intimacy so enjoyable that you don’t even care about the phone or screen addiction anymore.
Still glued to your phone after all of that? Here are a few other ideas to get you started on the right track:
The more activities you can enjoy with your partner (that don’t involve screens), the better. Pretty soon, you’ll ignite the joy of real human connection, and you won’t be “that couple,” propped up in bed scrolling through your devices in the dark.
If you want to introduce the practice of human touch and deeper intimacy into your relationship, Reign Together creates a luxurious sensation to deepen the bond you share with the one you love using a relaxing mix of CBD oil (with 0.00% THC), coconut oil, jojoba oil and Arnica Montana. Browse the full line of Reign Together products now.____
Fascinated by relationships, dating, intimacy and finding love on the internet, Jeremy Hillpot spent three years working as an “online dating ghostwriter” helping singles skyrocket their ability to find love on the internet. Jeremy writes on other relationship topics, law, technology, data science, spirituality and astrology.