All the glitz and and intrigue of new gadgets and services in the tech world can be as detrimental as they are life-saving and awe-inspiring. With more than 37 percent of teenagers carrying smartphones in the U.S., it’s going to become increasingly crucial to learn, model and teach healthy social media rules . . . for the sake of happy, healthy relationships and a full, healthy lifestyle.
Smart phones themselves aren’t the problem, but far too many people engage with them inappropriately without intention, and it can end up costing more than just healthy relationships.
1. Think, Think, Think Before You Speak
Most of us are familiar with the oversharers on social media. The people who seem to write daily novels about their lives or air dirty or insulting laundry about those closest to them. Whether or not the poster’s feelings are justified, personal posts are almost always a no-go. Doctor Ramani Duravasula, renowned clinical psychiastrist, notes that personal posting can cross boundaries and create distance, increase animosity and even drive a wedge for those seeking closeness.
Personal posts, whether positive or negative, should be discussed prior to posting, and boundaries need to be set. Duravasula reminds us that “part of the joy of a relationship is the secret world that you inhabit together.”
2. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Glares
Simply put, posting overtly sexy or flashy images of yourself online generally give the impression that the poster is crying for attention. A clinical psychologist for the Aiki Relationship Institute, Mark Sharp, notes that even though many people do enjoy the positive attention their significant other may attract, publicly posting hoards of seductive images may call too much attention to their exterior, leading to an unbalanced focus on the true merits of self-worth.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look great, but a quick conversation and some self reflection can help ensure your partner is awed by your attractiveness while still being comfortable with each other’s boundaries
3. Physical Safety and Responsibility
Smart phones have been estimated to be partially responsible for up to 25 percent of accidents in the U.S., an astronomical number (GHSA). The threat of an accident may not seem like a direct threat to a healthy, happy relationship with your loved ones and social media. Modeling and teaching appropriate equipment use is just as important on the road as it is in a construction zone. Keep in mind that your smartphone is not a fifth limb and shouldn’t be attached to you, especially during activities that require focus.
The trauma and stress of a broken limb . . . or worse can reap havoc on not only relationships, but life in general. The pain, recovery and trauma of a crash caused by media distraction are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, expert attorneys Mushkatel Robbins & Becker note that the ensuing personal injury lawsuits can also be debilitating. The allure of sending a text while behind wheels should be be thought of like riding a bike on the highway without a helmet– you’re asking for disaster.