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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Starting National “No Device Night”

Uploaded: Apr 6, 2017
Let’s be the first in the nation to select a night each week where we don’t use devices.

We spend time as a family, and after the kids go to bed or off to do homework, we spend time as a couple—without devices. You could even pretend you’re living in the days before electricity. Light a candle, sit close. Talk. Hold hands. Kiss. See where it leads you.

I’m not anti-devices. I have a computer, phone and iPad; they’re extremely useful and I use them daily. However, I’m pro-couples. I work to help couples clear the decks in all ways to enjoy spending time together, to talk, to be intimate, and to make love.

Clearing the decks takes place in all areas of life: emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and practically.

You have to make time for each other and your relationship. Otherwise, eventually, you may end up on a sinking ship with a person you barely know anymore. Marriage needs work. Not a lot of work if you keep up with it, but day to day effort.

Every day:

Verbally appreciate your beloved in one way, as your partner and lover (as opposed to as a parent, worker, in-law, etc.).

Hug belly to belly for a couple of minutes.

Gaze into each others’ eyes for three to five minutes.

Give at least one small ‘service’ without being asked (e.g., Empty the dishwasher, tank up fuel in the car, read to kids, bring coffee to your beloved in bed).

Spend uninterrupted time together (20 minutes, where each of you talks for 10 minutes and the other listens exceptionally well; then switch). Your family or work will survive. In fact, you’re setting a healthy example for your kids.

Bring an unexpected gift now and then (not every day).

Maybe you have couple issues that you need to work through in order to be able to enjoy each others’ company again. If life has come at you (which it does), many couples have things to talk through. Don’t avoid it, and don’t hide behind devices or work. The pile under the rug is just going to grow.

My husband and I are going device-free on Friday nights.

Let me know what night you pick, and how it’s going.

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Posted by RCS 650, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Apr 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

RCS 650 is a registered user.

I love it! Super idea...but do we really have the discipline to "Undevice" ourselves for even one night?

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Apr 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi RCS, Thanks for writing in. I hope we have the capacity; otherwise we are truly addicted!

Posted by Catherine, a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde,
on Apr 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Sadly, this is unlikely to work unless we also get employers to agree.

Unless you have specific religious reasons that are defensible under law (like keeping Sabbath), many employers will continue to expect their employees to be always on 24/7.

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Apr 11, 2017 at 8:49 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi Catherine,

Please read and then take the article called “The New Company Clock, An always-on workplace isn’t enlightened – it’s toxic. And it’s up to you to shut it off” to your boss, and ask him/her to take it up the chain of command. The article is by Jason Fried in the March 2017 issue of Inc. magazine.

Posted by D, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm

I'll text you and let you know when I will go non device

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Apr 13, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.


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