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Recharging Your Relationship by Disconnecting from Social Media

How to Unplug From Social Media to Improve Your Relationship

Thanks to the internet, we're more connected than ever before. Sometimes, it can even feel like we spend more time interacting with screens than with other people, including our partners. The urge to be connected is especially strong with social media.

You likely know that spending too much time on social media can be detrimental in a number of ways. It can even have a negative impact on your romantic relationships.

But, planning time away from social media allows you and your partner to disconnect digitally so that you can develop a deeper personal connection. To learn how to unplug, keep reading for some of the most effective tips, tricks, and helpful insights our counselors have taught countless couples over the years.

Designate “no phone zones”

Learning how to set and maintain healthy boundaries is a skill that every person should practice . Setting boundaries can even be helpful when disconnecting from social media, and you can work with your partner to establish mutually beneficial boundaries that work for you both.

For example, you might decide that the dinner table is a “no phone zone,” or that all screens will be turned off one hour before bed. You could also take nightly walks with your partner and leave the phones at home, spend one weekend day completely disconnected, or any other arrangement that works for both parties.

Turn off notifications on social media platforms

Develop a more mindful relationship with social media (and your partner) by turning off notifications for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms when you're spending quality time together.

Don't worry, the notifications will still be there when you check your social media accounts later.

Ask for status updates from your partner, not your social media feed

With social media, it's easy to get lost in status updates, photos, and everything else our friends and family share online. We might even continue to scroll at the expense of our partner's real-life attempts to communicate.

Researchers have even created a name for this phenomenon: phubbing.

Learn about the detrimental effects of phubbing

Phubbing refers to snubbing someone by looking at your cell phone during a conversation.

In 2018, Time shared findings from several studies on phubbing . Each one found that phubbing has negative effects on our relationships, like decreased satisfaction with conversations and feelings of disconnectedness. One study discovered that phubbing threatens four fundamental human needs: belongingness, self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control.

When these needs aren't met, relationships suffer. Two additional studies found increased rates of depression and reduced marital satisfaction amongst spouses who prioritize cell phones (and presumably other forms of technology, like social media) over each other.

Fortunately, you and your partner can break the cycle. Step one is implementing new rules, like social media-free zones, to start forming healthier habits. You can also learn more about forming smarter smartphone habits here in this helpful article .