Thursday, August 24, 2006

Computer Intimacy: The Wires that Bind

This piece in the New York Times warns of the computer interfering with intimacy:

But as some marital experts point out, in relationships under strain a laptop computer in bed can be used to avoid intimacy, not to foster it.

“There are many people who want a partner close, but not too close,” said David Schnarch, the director of the Marriage and Family Health Center, in Evergreen, Colo., and the author of “Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships” (W. W. Norton 1997). “So snuggling up next to them with the computer is for many of us the ideal situation for a feeling of contact but an assurance there won’t be eye-to-eye intimacy.”

Or, does it increase intimacy?

She also lies in bed and exchanges instant messages with her husband, who is elsewhere in the house on his own computer. “We discuss things, you might even say argue,” she said. “The IM will often eliminate a lot of the tone, and we can discuss things a little bit better. “

But the Sholeses also use the computer in bed to watch movies and to look at photographs Ms. Sholes has taken. And they sit together and have instant messaging conversations with friends.

In addition, the laptop has helped their sex life. “There have been a couple of times where we have digital pornography and can play it right there in bed,” Ms. Sholes said. “At this stage in our marriage I feel like we should bring our laptop into bed more often.”

What do you think?

1 comment:

Christy're said...

We email a few times a day--mostly things like "when are you coming home?" But we don't bring our laptops into the bedroom unless we are going to bed early to read and we were in the middle of some online articles. That's pretty rare.

The porn...well, we're against it, so that's out.

I think it's important to have a tv-free and laptop-free bedroom and to keep the bedroom a haven of rest, reading and intimacy.