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Friday, July 27, 2012

Thank you, Family Life Today (www.)

for providing wonderful guidelines to help us

avoid being too attached to our cell phones

and other technology!

Household rules

It’s not that the technology is inherently bad. Far from it—it helps us connect with people in many positive ways. The problem is that so many people are unable to control it. It’s as if they are married to their cell phones.

I received some great tips from readers about the boundaries they were implementing to promote face-to-face communication in their marriages. Here are some highlights:

1. No devices at the dinner table. This was mentioned many times in emails. Dinner time should be reserved for face-to-face conversation. There will be plenty of time after dinner to reply to phone calls and text messages.

One family calls this rule “TTT—Timeout from Technology at the Table.”

2. No phones at the restaurant. “My husband and I have made a deal for date nights,” wrote one wife. “He is way too plugged in to TV and his phone. Therefore when we are out at restaurants we are not allowed to use our phones unless it is a call from the babysitter. Also we do not go to restaurants that have televisions because he will be too distracted, and I will be mad that he is not totally engaged. We all need to find time daily to disconnect from all the information and reconnect with our families with good ‘old-fashioned’ conversation.”

Another reader said she and her husband leave their cell phones in the car before they enter a restaurant.

3. No texting or talking about really important personal issues over the phone. This should be done face-to-face, unless it is something that can't wait. One reader said, “There is a huge gap in a 'conversation' when texting because you don't really fully understand what that person really means unless you hear the tone in their voice or see their face and a lot can be taken the wrong way, creating bad feelings, etc.”

Here is an over-arching concept:   Love the one you’re with

All these boundaries establish a strong family value: When you’re with someone, that relationship is your priority.

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