Gadgets have become the first thing we touch in the morning and the last thing we stroke at night. Are they taking over our lives and causing us to lose human contact with each other?

Dr. Ian Kerner, founder of Good in Bed and author of DSI: Date Scene Investigation, says that technology is much more pervasive today than it was in previous generations. Couples now have cell phones, computers and social media in addition to the TV, which complicates the issue even further. Dr. Kerner believes that it’s important for couples to declare their bedroom a “gadget-free zone” in order to alleviate any distractions that can take the place of intimacy and bonding with their partner.

I know women who watch TV series outside the bedroom long after their husbands fall asleep and men who play video or computer games till the wee hours of the morning. So keeping electronics out of the bedroom may not be a solution for all. Instead I think couples should agree on a bedtime and leave all the gadgets turned off till the next morning.

Dr. Stephanie Sarkis points out that being able to communicate at the speed of light is great – but there is little intimacy in that communication. True intimacy comes from face-to-face dialogue. To that end, avoid arguing electronically. It may be okay to get the communication going again with the help of email or texting. But you’ll have to take a time out and save the discussion for when you see each other in person. When couples fight, it’s never about who is right or who is wrong. Often times a heartfelt ‘sorry’ along with a hug can lead to sweet reconciliation. You can’t do that electronically.

An intimate and rewarding relationship requires both partners to spend sufficient time together. The definition of ‘sufficient’ varies, but you kind of know when you aren’t spending enough time with each other. Newly weds are usually inseparable. As the marriage matures, the need for time alone with your spouse also changes. After 25 years of marriage, the daily connections between Joe and me have evolved to a phone call in the morning when Joe is on his way to work, a few text exchanges during the day as a reminder that we are on each other’s mind, chatting about how our day went at the dinner table and turning off the bedroom light around 10 pm everyday. The points of connection and the amount of face time we dedicate to each other feel right for now.

Technology brings speed and convenience to our modern lives, but addiction can be a serious side effect. Before you know it, you are spending all the ‘saved time’ in front of the TV, getting hooked to Shawn, the handsome bachelor, instead of your own man, or the Kardashians instead of your own family. Excessive web-chat with your friends all over the world is another time killer and intimacy destroyer.

Closeness takes time and commitment to build. Nothing can replace the face-to-face communication and intimate physical contact. Therefore don’t let technology get in the way of your love life and make it a priority to stay intimately connected with your partner.

Technologies of the soul tend to be simple, bodily, slow and related to the heart as much as the mind. Everything around us tells us we should be mechanically sophisticated, electronic, quick, and informational in our expressiveness – an exact antipode to the virtues of the soul. It is no wonder, then, that in an age of telecommunications – which, by the way, literally means “distant connections” – we suffer symptoms of the loss of soul. We are being urged from everyside to become efficient rather than intimate. – by Thomas Moore (1779 – 1852)

The value of the personal relationship to all things is that it creates intimacy… and intimacy creates understanding… and understanding creates love. – by Anaïs Nin (1903 – 1977)