Technology is a wondrous thing. We have become incredibly connected to an amount of information that we have never been connected to before. With the world literally at our fingertips, we can grow in knowledge and in wisdom.
But at the same time, we can use the internet in destructive ways; ways that affect our relationships for the worse. There are three pitfalls connected to the internet and your relationship.
How much time do you really spend online? It’s easy to lose an hour (or four) when reading news articles, watching videos, or looking at various status updates and forum posts. None of these things are bad within themselves, but if you spend more time with your smartphone than you do with your spouse, there’s a problem.
Take note of how much time you spend on the internet this week. Try to match your internet time to your spouse time. Once a month, do a weekend media fast together. Find a place to get away – just the two of you – without phones, computers, or televisions. Reconnect on a human level, looking into each others eyes and reestablishing your relationship. In addition, put aside a couple of hours each week to spend together without any electronics. (A profitable time would be date night.) Even in a couple of hours you can reconnect on a deep level.
Bad Relationship Advice
There is a lot of advice on the internet: how to fix your computer, how to keep your plants alive, and how to cure a cold. But not all the advice you find is good advice, relationship advice included.
It is no surprise that people will search through whatever resources they can find in order to find the route to a deeper relationship, but not all internet advice is beneficial. For example, I have came across advice that actually told me to go out and get my heart broken. No, thank you. I’m pretty sure that’s counter-productive.
Aside from my example, there is some advice that disregards the larger picture of a deep, meaningful relationship, and is about fulfilling short-term wants instead. A lot of internet advice can end up being selfish and shallow, telling you the quickest way to meet your desires at the expense of your partner.
Also, information can be childish or useless. The one I see a lot is “Is He Into You?” This is an easy one to answer. If he asks you out, he’s into you. It’s that simple. Going through a bunch of criteria will not give you psychic abilities to help you see into the future of someone’s actions.
When you are searching for valid advice, use discernment. Ask yourself if the advice goes against the Bible in any way, shape, or form. If it does, throw it out. It will only cause you heartache and chaos. Also, make sure that the advice not only plays to your needs, but your partner’s needs. Make sure it deepens your relationship and doesn’t just feed your selfish wants. Some great websites for relationship advice are Focus on the Family, Relevant Magazine, and Boundless.
Pornography and Other Sexual Temptations
Sexual temptation is hard to avoid on the internet. No matter what site you’re on, there is always a pop-up somewhere with the purpose of leading you down a pornographic path. Avoid them. Many think that pornography will enhance their sex lives, but in reality, it harms it more than it improves it. Pornography contributes to far more cases of divorce than to cases of sexual satisfaction. (Read our article Harmless Pornography.) A good rule of thumb is to never click on a website that you wouldn’t click on if your mother was in the room.
In addition to pornography, the internet can increase other sexual temptations. The internet can be a great tool for connecting with old friends, but it can also open up some doors for connecting with men or women in a way that damages your marriage. Make sure to have clear boundary lines when it comes to internet chat. Stay away from sexual suggestions or cybersex, as well as frequent connections with intimate conversation.
The internet is not evil in itself, but it can be used for unwise purposes. The internet should be used as a tool, not a lifestyle. Disconnect from it every once in a while and reconnect with your spouse instead.