Spouse vs. Screens

His comment caught me off-guard.

Since I was speaking at a youth conference about teens and technology, I figured the dad waiting to speak with me wanted to talk about his crazy texting teenager.

But he didn’t come to talk about his daughter. He came to talk about his wife.

You see, this man was a father of three who had a wonderful wife except for one little area. She was addicted to Twitter.

It began innocently enough. His wife was involved in women’s ministry. She would notice someone in need and send them an encouraging tweet during the week. The recipient of the tweet was so touched that his wife began sending messages to more women in the church to encourage them. Before she knew it, she was constantly communicating with friends on social media.

Being digitally connected at all times became a part of her life and she didn’t know how to stop.

On date nights, she would sit with her husband at dinner, phone in hand. She would reply to tweets and send tweets about the restaurant. During commutes, at home, at play – one thing was constant. Her connection to her phone at all times.

The man’s friends started calling his wife the “Twitter Queen” and that wasn’t meant as a compliment as you can imagine.

This husband and wife aren’t the only ones struggling with the intrusion of technology into our relationships. At home, we’re constantly facing screens, whether it’s a computer, tablet, television, or phone. We’re busy checking emails, social media, stock prices, daily news, and text messages. Headlines grab our attention while our spouses slip into the background.

My friend joked with me the other day that she was in bed reading when her husband came into the bedroom. He was playing a video game and it was at least 15 minutes before he even noticed she was in the room too.

No spouse wants to compete with a screen for attention. So before you scroll through posts on social media or start gaming, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I wasting time on social media?
  • Does my spouse have my full attention or am I distracted by screen time?
  • Is there anything I need to change to make sure I don’t end up like the Twitter Queen or the gamer who didn’t even notice his wife was in the room?  

Photo Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo


Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Gary Chapman), 31 Days to a Happy Husband, and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. She has been featured on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Family Life Today, Focus on the Family, K-LOVE, The Better Show, The 700 Club, Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, and TLC’s Home Made Simple. Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children. Visit Arlene at www.ArlenePellicane.com for free family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

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