Keith and I were in Hilton Head, SC 7 years ago. We had left our son with my parents to “get away” and enjoy each other BUT the Blackberry got in the way. He spent quite a bit of time on it – so I decided one day at lunch to take his picture – since it was becoming a memory! You will notice in the first picture - two sandwiches and in the second, only one. I am guessing that many of you have experienced this – your husband may be close in proximity but his mind is distant because of technology.
I remember when my husband brought home his first laptop from work – it was over 9 years ago -before we had kids. He would sit beside me on the couch and tap tap tap away. I grew to hate the sound that his fingers made on the keys…the tap tap tap sound was like finger nails on a chalk board to me. Why? Because the laptop was competing with me for my husband’s attention!
Then came the blackberry only a year or two later. It was great because my husband could get all his email on it. Other guys warned my husband that the blackberry was an addictive device like crack cocaine- they called it the Crackberry! It was the omnipresence of the phone that was hard for me to deal with. It rang at the dinner table, in the middle of the night, in church, in the car while we were driving, and during family events. Now I was competing with a laptop AND a Blackberry!
Then our world changed and I got a laptop (and later a blackberry too!)! Now we could sit beside each other on our laptops! The tapping no longer bothered me because I was tapping now too! I entered the world of blogging, facebook, twitter, youtube, and skype. I loved all the connections and the sky was the limit to my learning – from recipes to decorating, to theology and motherhood – the web world fascinated me!
Has all this technology been a source of contention in OUR marriage? YES! A thousand times yes. We have time and time again revisited the conversation of how much is too much or when is the right and wrong time to be using it.
It is hard for me to remember back to the simple life – when the only media source we had in our apartment as newlyweds was the television! And it can be hard to navigate because there’s no role models on how to manage these things. I can’t say “well my mom and dad did it this way” because they didn’t have this technology. Now we both have iPads and iPods – new technology taking more of our attention. We have to daily manage our use of these items because we are aware that we can connect all day with the outer world while becoming distant with the person sitting right beside us!
I have said before that technology is amoral. In and of itself it is neither good nor evil but rather the way you use it determines it’s morality. I have benefited greatly spiritually from all the media resources I use daily but I’ve compiled a list of pitfalls that I see for marriage and media:
1. Time – we must be aware of how much time we spend on-line versus making sure our husband’s needs are met. Especially the bedroom needs…just sayin lol!
2. Beware of Inappropriate relationships on-line.
“Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8) I read recently on mashable that over 20% of divorces now site the use of Facebook as one of the reasons for their divorce – usually it led to an affair. Though my marriage is strong, I want in no way to leave a cracked door for Satan, so I have chosen to delete all men (except relatives) from my friend list on Facebook. This is a personal conviction and I’m not saying all women should do this – but if you are currently talking to an ex-boyfriend on-line or flirting with a man other than your husband stop – and take whatever measure you must to break off any innappropriate relationships.
3. Disrespectful talk about husbands on-line.
When I see it – I cringe. We must carefully choose our words when referencing our husbands on-line. Because Facebook is so public we must be careful to not complain, criticize, and vent about our husbands for the whole world to see. I have innocently shared details about my husband without his permission and upset him. Once I shared something I thought was funny that happened to him – and let’s just say – he did NOT think it was funny! Oops! We live and we learn and we do better next time. It’s important to listen to our husband’s feelings and respect them. Remember God’s word says: “let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph. 5:33) Our talk about our husbands on-line should stand out and be different than the worlds! No husband bashing – rather use the platform to sing his praises!!!
4. Sadly the Internet has introduced p*rn into Christian homes that just 10 years ago no one had access to.
I have not experienced this in my marriage – but if you are a wife in this position I have compiled a list of 11 resources for wives whose husbands are addicted to p*rn.
5. Looking at other’s lives and growing jealous, discouraged or discontent.
I should probably write an entire blog post on just this one topic because it is a serious problem that social media has created for women. While it is fabulous to connect – it can grieve a woman who is tight on money to see someone else’s vacation pictures. For a wife whose husband never takes her out to dinner, it can be painful to hear about date nights for other couples. It can create comparisons and a “the grass is greener” elsewhere mentality which is poison to your marriage! We can wrongly believe that another husband is better than our own by comparing them spiritually, romantically, financially or physically. All men are flawed (just as we are), all marriages are flawed – do not be deceived into believing that the grass is greener – rather water and fertilize your own lawn – make your grass greener!
So I’ve shared the negatives – but I know there are many positives. I’d love to hear your thoughts on media and your marriage. I invite you to leave a comment in the comment section or if you are a blogger – write a post about Media and Your Marriage, include the Media Mondays button and then link up below. I look forward to hearing from you all and I will be visiting as many link-ups as I can (within my 3 hours a day limit :) )
For the Media Mondays Weekly Topic List click here - next Monday we will be discussing Media and Our Parenting.