Diary of a Marriage: I, Emily, Take You, iPhone.
I, Emily, take you, pretty shiny new white iPhone, to be my contractually wedded cellular device, to have and to hold (though if I drop you, I bought a protective cover) from this day forward, in sickness and in health (I also sprang for the monthly insurance plan!), to love and to cherish in a completely non-obsessive way, till the end of my contract in 2013.
But first, some ground rules.
You need to give me space. I will not pull you out of my purse when I am out with my husband on date night. I will not check my emails every five minutes during the weekend. You will be a valued technological tool, but you will not become an ever-present third party in our marriage. Therefore: You are not allowed at the dinner table. (I know; I’m sorry.) And your ringer and the little “ping” that notifies me every time I get an email? That’s going to be turned off at family gatherings, weddings, nights out with friends, sporting events, and long walks with J.
You’re interesting. You have apps and things, and you help make my train rides to and from work much more productive. But here’s the thing: You’re not human. I can’t converse with you, or kiss you, or laugh with you. So I vow that I will not spend hours staring at you with glazed eyes, completely out of touch with the world buzzing around me. That’s rude, and it certainly can’t be good for a marriage.
I know you’ll tempt me with your impossibly quick ability to get me any information, anywhere, anytime. I’m sure my mind will wander as J. and I eat dinner, and I’ll be tempted to see if I’ve gotten a response to that very important work email. But it will have to wait. And so will the YouTube videos I’m sure I can access really quickly via that little icon I noticed on my home screen.
You see, iPhone, I’ve never had much of a desire to be constantly connected. I enjoy being unreachable sometimes, being by myself, or quiet and alone with J. I still staunchly refuse to join Facebook, and I’m notoriously bad at reading my personal email. I suppose it will be nice to have all my emails and bookmarked sites and things like the news and the weather and maps and stock market reports (I found that icon on my home screen, too) available at my fingertips. But I worry it will be a slippery slope. Will my relationship with J. turn into one of texts and emails instead of hand-holding and love notes? Will I be more connected to you and less tuned into him?
So I hope we’re on the same page. I’ll take great care not to drop you or leave you in a cab, as long as you please don’t ring during dinner.
Do you and your husband or fiancé have rules for making sure technology—whether it’s your phones, computers or TVs—don’t overtake your lives and cut into quality time you spend together? Is one of you a worse violator than the other?
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