Let me ask you a question:
When you wake up in the morning, what's the first thing you grab for?
If you answered with 'my phone,' then this article is for you, the technologically dependent.
But I'm not pointing any fingers. In fact, even I'm guilty of it.
I check my phone to see what outside noise is looking to contact me.
I don't even give my brain a chance to wake up sometimes. I'm curious; I want to see -- immediately -- who wants something from me, which friend is having issues or who wants to grab something for lunch.
And there's nothing wrong with that kind of curiosity... except for the small fact that it KILLS INTIMACY.
This morning I awoke to my daughter begging me to play with her. We have a sound machine with a projector, and the projector rotates and displays all these little visuals that show up on the ceiling. So I spent the first 20 minutes of my day this morning looking at little fishies, turtles and octopuses -- I was present.
My daughter was sitting next to me the whole time, enjoying it. She asked to see the next one, and the next one, and I didn't go to my phone immediately; I connected with another person. I connected with my daughter, and it was a far more beautiful way to start the day.
I could have ignored her or said, "Sorry, baby, Daddy has work to do."
But no, I didn't connect with the noise that was trying to get to me. I didn't allow it.
If you start the day allowing all the noise into your life before you've made any connections -- either to your big self or the person lying next to you in bed -- then you start the day in a reactive mode, and you allow other people to dictate your life.
But life shouldn't be that way.
You have a choice. You choose how to engage the world.
There are people out there who only answer emails at 10:00 in the morning and at 4:00 in the afternoon, and that's it. And some of those people are the most successful people I've ever met in my life, because they do it diligently for an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon. They don't feel the pressure of constant desire, constant outreach, constant contact.
You don't need to correspond with people instantly. Intimacy is what life is all about.
After spending a night with your lover, when the sun breaks past the horizon and shoots that warm morning light through the blinds, do you reach for your lover's body or for your iPhone 5?
The fact that I have to even ask that question should tell you about the state of our relationships in this technological age.
Smartphones are destroying intimacy all over the world.
Every day I see people out on dates looking at phones instead of looking at each other.
We are so into our phones, we're so about being 'connected,' but we're not connected. Because by being connected through computer screens and flashing lights, we miss out on the real moments of life. We're given beautiful moments in life every single day, and we miss them every day because we have to be 'connected' to the outside world.
When I entered the work world a long time ago, people used to do this crazy thing called "writing notes." Any time someone tried to get a hold of you, there would be a note left as evidence.
If I went out to lunch with a friend, I was 100 percent present with him. When I got back to my office, I would look at my desk for any notes, and then I would return the phone calls immediately. That's how we used to do business, and we were equally as successful.
Fast-forward to the present day, and you can see how we've allowed the phone to dictate our lives; we have allowed it into our most intimate moments.
A phone should never be brought into bed with you.
If you're about to get into bed with your lover at night, you shouldn't be looking at your phone, you should be looking at him or her.
When you wake up in the morning, set some time aside -- 10, 15, 20 minutes -- where you connect with not only yourself but you connect with your lover. Start the day that way and see how much more fulfilling your relationship becomes.
Leave the phone out of the bedroom; leave the phone when you're on dates; leave the phone when you're with people you care about -- nothing is so important that you need to break the flow of whatever you're doing in the moment.
Smartphones are great: I love being able to check quickly for directions when I'm in some unfamiliar neighborhood. They're great for ending sports debates when I'm with a bunch of my buddies.
But when it comes down to intimacy -- forget it! Smartphones are 2013's number one intimacy killer.
Turn them off, turn them off, TURN THEM OFF.
You control when you want to engage the outside world.
Take control of your phone, take back control of your life, and watch your friendships and intimate relationships soar.
Or... you can check that text that just came in....
Is that your BlackBerry's red light flashing?
Follow David Wygant on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidwygant