Is your Cell Phone the Third Wheel this Valentine’s Day?
With Valentine’s Day being just around the corner; how to you plan to celebrate? Flowers and chocolates are great, but putting your phone down might mean even more.
I don’t mean to assume that you don’t find being ignored romantic-maybe you do-but for the rest of us, the habit most people have gotten into of checking our phone every 2-4 minutes might be sending the wrong message.
So, the real question is, do we really need to know what’s happening in the world every 2-4 minutes, or are we addicted? Judging from the fact that cell phone notifications activate dopamine in our brain, which is the same chemical reward center that alcohol and drug addictions activate, things aren’t looking good. And we know from any other addiction, it usually results in dishonesty, poor communication, having to put up rigid boundaries, high levels of negativity and conflict, as well as social isolation. It’s not exactly romantic.
Studies are still being done on the impact of modern cell phone use and romantic relationships. And of course it’s worth mentioning that the bright side is that it can help couples feel more secure, offering more ways to check in throughout the day.
But what if “checking in” turns to harassment? And what if being with someone who isn’t fully present starts to suck? What if your dependency on your phone prevents you from truly learning what it means to connected to an actual person? These are just some of the questions that are starting to be explored.
Here’s a tip: don’t use your partner to be part of a research focus group to answer those questions this Valentine’s day. Use The MILK App to help you practice crazy things like eye contact, responding to what your partner said in a timely manner and, using words to communicate to them instead of little blue bubbles with text, and who knows? They might be so happy you might not even need to buy them that expensive dinner. Just kidding. But the free rewards you earn from Milk the Moment might actually pay for that dinner!
Anyway, Milk the Moment and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!