“My wife arrived home and got my attention through an instant message from the other room.” (Rheingold, Howard; Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, 2012)
My husband and I always do this. One of us will be busy, either me doing school work or him working from home as he often does, and we’ll message each other using Discord to see what the other wants to do for dinner. If my 91-year-old father knew that we do this instead of walking the 20 feet it takes to go from my office to our room where my husband’s computer is set up, he’d tell me I’m crazy!
It’s a new generation, pops.
The thing is, as a couple, the two of us have an understanding that sometimes it’s best just to shoot a quick message to the other person instead of bothering them right this second in case they’re deep in thought. Sure it doesn’t seem as personal from an older, outside perspective, but with our phones in hand and our computers by our side, my husband and I are always connected! We also have an unspoken agreement that even though we like hanging out with one another, sometimes we need our space, especially if we’re trying to complete something at the moment. And when we’re physically in the same room doing the same activity together, whether it’s us eating at the dinner table or playing a collaborative game on the couch, we agree never to ignore the other person for social media/messaging others so that we give each other our undivided attention.
I think knowing how a partner communicates and when it’s appropriate to give them some space is important to establish early on in a relationship. Using instant messaging programs is a really good way to stay connected with your significant other without intruding on their them-time and your own me-time. I can send my husband dumb memes while he works on his current project and he can look at them on his own time. He can bug me for some cuddles and attention while I’m writing on my blog, and I’ll know I should probably take a break and drag him downstairs to make him make me some food instead while watching some Eureka together once I’m done writing this post!
And how did we/will we accomplish all this face-to-face contact? Via planning online with our doors closed in separate rooms behind the screens of our desktop computers.