Love in a time of Social media – 5 ways to bring back intimacy into relationships

Couple on the phones instead of talking to each other. Image from

I read an article the other day called Beyond the Screen: Love in a Time of Social Media. Here is an extract.

These days, if we are asked on a date at all, one or both of us are usually on our phones, scrolling through Twitter and Facebook feeds, checking the weather, and reading emails. I recall vividly a Sunday in which my date and I enraged a restaurant manager because of our cell phones. We walked in, phones in hand, checking them as we waited in line to be seated. We apparently missed the visual cue from the host, as he frustratedly motioned for us to follow him. “Hello!?” he uttered, visibly insulted by our distraction. He led us to our table, shaking his head, mumbling under his breath on the way to our table.

While I was perturbed by his over-the-top reaction, he had a point. Since then, I’ve become increasingly aware of the behaviors of restaurant patrons around me. It is unusual to see a table where every adult does not have a cell phone laid before him. Most couples—young and old alike—are both on their phones simultaneously, absorbed in the scrolling content on the Internet and neglecting the content behind the face of the other. I’ve started to make a conscious effort to put the phone away when I’m out with others. I made a strong point of this in my last relationship, after Twitter started competing with my captivating musings over escargot and champagne one evening. He took the hint and put his phone away. Yet, the minute we left the restaurant, he was back on his phone, his eyes glued to the glowing screen. – Samantha Schroeder (Beyond the Screen: Love in a Time of Social Media

What is sad is that we now spend time when we should be bonding or getting to know new people staring at our phones. This affects our relationships and intimacy. Durex did a study on technology and how it affects your love life. Then they did a video on couples taking about how they use technology when they are with their partners. Check out Durex reveals technology that will improve your love life.

Couple on the phones instead of talking to each other. Image from
Couple on the phones instead of talking to each other. Image from

So how do we keep our relationships thriving in an age of social media addiction. Here are a few ideas, they are just my thoughts and you may or may not agree with all of them.

1. Keep cellphones out of sight during a date or during dinner

When you are meant to be with your partner, you are supposed to be fully there. Going out on a date is an arrangement you had together not with your social media friends or your boss. The social media likes and job emails can wait an hour or two. This is your chance to connect with your partner. Talk to them, know about their day. You will learn more about them this way. If it is dinner at home same standards should be upheld. Don’t have your phone with you or the television on. Have a chat as you eat and also make time after you eat. If you have a movie to watch together do so and keep your phones aside.

2. Use social media differently

Social media helps us keep up with friends, be in the know of current events and stalk some people. Keep your exes and current partners out of your friend list. You seeing how your ex is doing every second of the day can confuse you especially when you are on a rough patch with your partner. They might look like they are doing well and would like to reconnect and this won’t work in your favor if you jump in. Just keep off. A little mystery in a relationship is a good thing. You knowing everything about your partner kills the excitement in the relationship. You can’t guess what to bring for her birthday because she already told everyone on Facebook. You will lack daily conversations as you know everything already. You will see her complain about something on Facebook or become friends with someone you don’t like and this will give you a lot of stress.

3. Shut down all technological devices when you go to bed

A lot of people carry their phones and laptops to the bedroom and sleep while still using them. This causes a strain on the sexual relationship with your partner. Do not carry your phone or laptop into the bedroom. Leave them in another room. The bedroom is a place to get intimate with your significant other and sleep. You will play candy crush and stalk people on instagram another time. In the morning instead of looking at your phone you will have time to kiss your partner good morning.

4. Use technology to communicate if one of you is out of town

In as much as it looks like I am against technology, it can be used for good. If one of you is out of town you can use technology to communicate. Use Skype to reach them and also send some sweet text messages. I recommend Skype as you can see them on the screen and you can see their facial reactions as they narrate about their day and feelings. It is like being with them. This way you still get a feel of them every day that they are not with them.

5. Don’t use technology when you can use word of mouth

If you can tell them by word of mouth do so. Some people take their relationships online for the example the case of the German guy divorcing his wife on Facebook. If you look at it they had some unresolved issues that would have done them good if they talked about it. If you can call them then do. If it is a major argument or decision that needs to be made, wait until you get home then you can talk. This way you can avoid arguments like, “I never saw the text or email” and you will have more time to talk and get the other side of the argument. This breeds a lot of respect in a relationship.

So keep away your gargets and spend quality time with your partner and date. Which idea will you implement first or what other suggestions do you have that you think couples should try?

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Managing editor and blogger at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]