Tuesday, February 6, 2024

#37 / One Way To Improve Your Relationships


Astute readers will realize that I am way ahead of myself in posting items to this blog. Today's blog posting is an example. I am referencing, today, an article that appeared in The New York Times on January 2, 2024, more than a month ago, and that's the day I wrote about it. In The Times, the article is titled, "Nine Ways to Improve Your Relationships in 2024." 

As the title to this blog posting reveals, I want to comment on only one of those recommendations (and to introduce anyone reading this blog to a term with which they may not be familiar). 

Since many of those who are seeing this blog posting are, probably, not subscribers to The New York Times, and thus will not be able to click the link, above, and get The Times' comprehensive set of recommendations for improving your love life, which The Times' translates as your "bonds with friends, family, and romantic partners," I'll list The Times' recommendations immediately below. 

I do have a little bit more to say about recommendation #3, for those wanting my own views. 

Here is The Times' list of ways to improve your relationships: 

#1- Give people permission to change
#2 - When the phone rings, pick up
#3 - Beware of 'Phubbing' [See Below]
#4 - Be open to different types of desire
#5 - When arguing, avoid generalizations
#6 - Never underestimate the power of a compliment
#7 - Focus on what you can control
#8 - Don't let introversion prevent deep connection
#9 - When someone is upset, ask one simple question

#3 - Beware of "Phubbing"

I had never heard the term, "phubbing" until I read the column in The Times. The column was authored, by the way, by Catherine Pearson, whose "beat" includes families and relationships. Here is how Pearson defines the term "phubbing": "Glancing at your phone when someone is talking to you, or reaching for it whenever the conversation stalls, can lead to feelings of hurt and frustration. Recent research suggests that the practice - a combination of 'phone' and 'snubbing' - can be particularly damaging to romantic partnerships."

"Phubbing" can be particularly damaging to any relationship (not just a "romantic" relationship), and "phubbing" can undermine any effective political action, too. Effective political action absolutely requires that those wishing to engage in "politics" establish real human connections with real people, and that they act in concert with others in the real world. 

I have made comment on this topic before, in a blog posting titled, "Let Me Explain The Modern World." The so-called "Modern World," illuminated by a series of images collected by Massimiliano Galli and published on Facebook, is a world established by "technology," and is removed, completely, from the shared world that allows real human connection and communication. 

When you are "online," and particularly when you are "online" on a phone, standing in the immediate presence of other human beings, you are actually "somewhere else." You are not where you physically "are." You might be on Mars, or playing "Freecell" (the online distraction that most effectively separates me from the "real world"). You might be deeply engaged in some pornographic fever dream, or are playing Wordle, or are learning that your son or daughter is going to be late getting home, or .... whatever. 

The important thing to note is that it is not possible to establish or maintain any effective and "real" relationship with any other person if you are on your "phone," or if you are otherwise "online," and are therefore present on "The Internet," as opposed to being present where you are in the "real" world.

Do we want a revolution? [Yes]. When do we want it? [Now]. You may have experienced that chant in some real life setting, marching with others, or standing with a sign. Think back. You weren't part of this collective chant while gazing into your phone. See below for a powerful image of what that "gaze" into your phone is actually all about. 

We will not be able to relate to others (romantically or in any other way), and we can't change the world, if we aren't actually present where we physically are. 

So, watch out for "phubbing." More than romance is at stake. Everything is!

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