While relationships are important, their thriving has suffered several lashes. In the past, some of the issues at hand were mistrust, third parties, and the like. But today, technology, has joined the club.
Technology, in and of itself is vital in helping and easing communication, but when its use interrupts or replaces human interaction, therein lies the problem. The biggest culprit is the phone.
Virginia Kasibante hates the relationship her husband and his phone share. “It does not matter if we are discussing a serious matter or are having some me-time, he will always be doing something on his phone. I have given up on telling him to put the damn thing down because he simply never listens,” she says.
Such are the cries of several people whose partners cannot imagine a life without a phone.
Centre of attention
Evelyn Connie Kharono Lufafa, a counselling psychologist, says the phone, especially the smart phone, is the new enemy to the family. “Relations are the most important part of social life as our strongest support systems are found in human relationships. Relationships bring us joy not forgetting pain but we still need them. On the other hand, while phones are very important because they ease communication, they should not be the centre of attention,” she says.
To highlight how detrimental this gadget is, specialists from Baylor University, Texas spoke with 450 adults and discovered that people are actually annoyed by the fact that their partners keep their phone in sight, hold it in their hand all the time, or use it constantly. They, therefore, concluded that the mobile phone can hinder happiness. Holding the phone all the time and the like might seem a common occurrence but the specialists said they harm relationships, affect the state of happiness the neglected partner and decrease their contentment level.
The feeling of rejection gets even worse for those who do not completely trust their partner. Sam Mwijukye wonders why his wife never lets her phone out of sight. “It is always in her hands or just besides her. You could think it has become another baby to her. I am actually made to think that she might be cheating on me given her prolonged time on WhatsApp and long phone calls.”
For one that has had rumours about his wife’s reckless behaviour, Mwijukye wishes there was a way he would do away with the phone yet retain his wife whom he really adores.
Rachel Kamanzi’s is appalled by the fact that her boyfriend is always on phone checking one thing or the other even during meals and bedtime. “It beats my understanding how someone can be so taken up by their phone that meals are eaten mechanically and we no longer say prayers with him before sleeping.”
Kharono notes that phones have, today, become a third party in relationships as they distract attention. “This has affected communication to an extent that some couples go with their phones to bed and cannot put them away even during family outings. The attention to the phone is a total mess in relationships and has led to malfunctioning families and ill attention between couples.”
Indeed, while many say that phones are a necessity, they have alienated them from those around them. Jorge Ramos, an international motivational speaker, says no one wants to be parted from it as if something terrible would happen if we did not answer the moment it rang or vibrated.
“But if you are in the middle of a conversation and answer your phone rather than ignoring it, the person you are talking with will feel rejected. The message you are sending is clear: The distant caller is more important. If you are talking to someone who is holding a cellphone, you know your conversation may be interrupted at any moment.” He adds that constantly checking your cellphone keeps you from living in the moment. “No matter where you are or what else you are doing, your attention is divided,” he adds.