As I sat with clients today, and as I look into my own life and the lives of my friends, I see and hear alarming facts:

“He’s always checking his fantasy football stats on his phone.”

“Even when we’re at a restaurant, he’s distracted by checking Facebook, or watching the TV hanging on the wall behind me.”

“Her Pinterest pins are more interesting than I am, apparently.”

What is a relationship?

These comments are troubling for many reasons, but the one that makes me most concerned is what is happening to the relationship of the two people involved.  In each instance, the person who made the comment was talking about their significant other.  Not their friend, not their colleague, not their cousin.  Their mate.  And something is happening to the relationship in those seemingly insignificant moments of “down time” on the iPhone…the relationship is slowly, almost covertly, eroding at it’s core.

Time.  Conversation.  Shared dreams.  Laughter.  Honesty.  Support.  Activities.

These qualities make up the essence of a relationship.  What do you miss in real life when you’re making sure you’re not missing anything on Facebook?

Love.  Connection.  Life.

I’ve heard many spouses say sullenly, “It’s like I’m not even there.”

And for all practical and meaningful purposes, you’re not.

You’re not there.  Sure, you might be there physically, but in every sense of what makes life meaningful and enjoyable, you’re not.  The other person has escaped life, right in front of your face.

I often wonder what people on their death beds will be saying in coming years, and the conversations I envision scare me.

“I’m so sorry I spent every evening on my phone.  I should have been holding you, talking to you, doing life with you.”

And they missed it.  What a wasted life.

They missed the magic, the laughter, the heartache, the wonder.  All because the distraction of social media or sports stats were too enticing.

Because when I talk to people about what makes up a meaningful life, they invariably report: relationships.  People.  Loved ones.

Make your time count, friends.  Perspective.  Intentionality.

Don’t miss out on the most important things.