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First comes love, then comes tech

  • Article by: Katie Humphrey
  • Star Tribune
  • February 13, 2013 - 2:30 PM

A love connection with too many digital connections runs the risk of a short circuit. The trick is finding the balance between staring at a screen and staring into your date’s dreamy eyes.

A good place to start? Think about the intent of your technology use, said Carol Bruess, a professor at the University of St. Thomas and co-author of the book “What Happy Couples Do.”

Does tweeting sweet nothings bring you together? Great. Checking Twitter on your phone while out for a fancy dinner? Fail.

“When technology is at the center of our lives [and] we can’t imagine living without it even for a day, we must ask ourselves if it’s really filling us up or is it filling some other need,” Bruess said.

How do you know if you’re crossing the line? On Valentine’s Day, use this scale to determine if you’re going overboard and ruining the romance.

Serial offender

If you can’t resist the urge to Instagram every plate of a four-course meal, consider the power button. Is it dinner shared with your darling or your followers?

Ditto for those who live tweet intimate conversation. Secrets, personal conversation and inside jokes are fun. Unless you intend to entertain the masses, no need to share.

Occasional delinquent

Texting or tweeting isn’t necessarily taboo. After all, you could be tapping out a sweet message to your nearest and dearest, even though he or she is seated across the table.

Bruess offers this reminder: While a single “text, tweet, Facebook update or FaceTime request isn’t likely going to kill a relationship, one single drop in the bucket probably didn’t cause it to overflow.”

Upstanding citizen

Go ahead and snap one photo of that bouquet of roses to share on Twitter or Facebook. But set some rules — maybe no Twitter chatter about your relationship or no tablet in bed — if need be. And remember that not everyone wants to see what you’re sharing anyway.

“What’s creative or loving to you might be creepy or bragging to me,” Bruess said.□

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