What is the screensaver on your phone or computer/ Is it a beautiful landscape or maybe a picture of someone you love? There are endless kinds of screensavers you can purchase or add that make you smile when you turn an electronic device on.
I am going to talk about another type of screensaver and that screensaver is YOU. Do I have your attention? I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I see couples at a restaurant table each looking at their phones. I see parents on their phones while their children try to amuse themselves until the food is served. The other day at breakfast, I saw a single dad bring his two young children to a table, sit them down and immediately play on his phone while these kids looked around, trying to find something to do. The little boy began to play with the sugar packets and the little girl looked around for someone to connect with so I struck up a little conversation with her. The only time he looked up is when he thought they were doing something wrong.
I have participants who say that in their house, the spouses sit separately and do stuff on their I-pads, phones and computers and barely ever talk in the evenings and then they wonder why there are communication issues in their marriage. I will usually challenge them to put the screens down and truly spend time together. One participant is going to get a Lazy-Boy loveseat so they can cuddle more at night and connect.
Is your connection more with a screen than communicating face to face? It may take a decision on the part of both of you to be “screensavers” and reconnect for the sake of a healthy marriage. Are you willing? Are your relationships important enough to make the change? The screens can wait. That game can be played later. Those emails and texts can be returned later.
Please know that I am talking to myself as well because I too have been guilty of not being a “screensaver”. Beginning today, I will make a conscious effort to value conversation face to face over a screen. Join me in making the adjustment and let’s see what differences being a “screensaver” can make.