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Ask Andy: Getting my partner to cut back on screen time

Dear Andy,

How do I ask my partner to stop being on their phone so much?

Jealous of a Phone

Dear Jealous,

In today’s world, it’s sad to say that face-to-face communication is a dying art. As technology improves our lives, it also damages it in the way of personal contact. Many relationships have suffered for it; it impacts your relationships and can leave you feeling ignored and disconnected. Phones can be as addicting as drugs. They are purposely designed to catch and hold our attention, full of pretty colors and sounds and seemly unlimited apps and accessories. Even though technology is here to stay, there are things you can do to help improve the communication between your partner and yourself.

Communication is all about talking, so start off by voicing your concerns. It could be as simple as asking your partner to put their phone down when you are together. Tell them how you feel and, together, come up with some “phone” rules that everyone in the household needs to follow. A few simple changes could be all it would take to make a difference. These simple changes could include: no phones during mealtimes, all phones on silent when out together, a technology-free day, phone is used in the bedroom only for an alarm, and, most importantly, during any conversation, phones must be put away.

Just being able to open the pathways of communication will help and with practice it should get easier. Technology is great, but nothing beats an honest, open, one-on-one conversation. Take a step, talk it out, set some rules, and get back to enjoying each other.

As always, I, Andy, am here to help with your everyday problems. Navigating personal relationships can be taxing especially to your own mental health. Just remember to stay true to yourself and most things will work out for the best.

If you want honest advice to any problem, issue, or question, let me help. I’m a local resident with a sociology degree from Georgia Southern. Send your problems to and I will help you solve them!

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