Can Wireless Technology Improve Your Marriage?
Has technology taken the romance out of modern marriage, or has it positively enhanced it?
When my husband first suggested I write ‘the wife’s perspective of his hub (How Can Wireless Technology Improve the Wife?) my first thought was one of sheer panic. Images of the Six Million Dollar Man sprang to mind “We can rebuild him. We have the technology”. After all, in order for me to effectively talk about enhancing my other half; the man I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with, I would first have to reveal any flaws he might have to the reader wouldn’t I? If so, what were these flaws and could I really bring myself to air his metaphorically dirty boxers so publicly? And then, as if in response to my predicament, he skyped me to happily fill me in on the fact that he had already written his first 500 words. No such quandary at his end then! And so, fingers poised at the keyboard, I say without further hesitation, let the grapple of the Grattons begin.
From a marketing perspective, it’s always a wise move to, wherever possible, track consumer spending habits and preferences and to utilize these in your predictions of future trends and ultimately new product development. From a marriage perspective, the consumer trends of our spouses might be especially valuable to track, particularly when he insists that “I only had the two pints, darling” or “I left your anniversary present at the office sweetie, I’ll just pop and get it”. I fear that the Marriage Guidance Council may be rolling their eyes at the suggestion of such a relationship ‘missile’ and I have to say that, for the most part, I agree. “Where’s the trust?” I hear you cry. Okay, okay. I get it! Bad idea perhaps! But wireless tracking via the combination of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and Wi-Fi does already exist, due predominantly to the collaboration between Siemens and the lesser known Finnish company Ekahau, who last year decided to bring together the two technologies to provide real-time tracking of objects and people inside a wireless network. Its value lies in understanding the movements of people and equipment in a building through the attachment of smart-tag bands around the arm, leg or piece of equipment which are then monitored by a number of Wi-Fi access points. The technology is of particular interest to the health service where employees and patients can be monitored in all areas and expensive equipment can be tracked in real time. More topically, some schools are considering adopting the technology to keep tabs on students’ movements during break times. Could this technology then be successfully translated into a domestic environment to the benefit of the family? Possibly for the protection and tracking of our children or elderly relatives (the topic of another article perhaps), but to keep tabs on our spouses? Well, let’s just say that the only band I want my husband to wear is the one around his finger. So, with that wireless analogy out of the way, let’s swiftly move on shall we?
As I continue to write and develop this article further, it strikes me that I really don’t want to impose some ‘Stepfordian’ message about internal change via technology. Instead, I realise that I should perhaps focus on how wireless can be used to enhance and sustain what is already, in my opinion, a damn good marriage. I only hope that my husband is taking the same perspective in his piece. We shall of course see. Dean and I already enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having constant contact with each other via our mobile phones and instant messaging. Thanks to our Bluetooth headsets we can converse with each other whilst driving across different time zones. We use Skype daily to forward our thoughts and attachments in real-time to each other and our wireless web cams afford us the opportunity to affectionately gaze at one another from separate hotel rooms around the globe. Not the most romantic image I know, but a great deal better than the business trips of a decade ago, when most mobiles were unusable abroad and wireless access in hotels just wasn’t an option. Yes, I have to admit that mine is sometimes a ‘virtual’ marriage these days but it’s better than not having one at all and it always gives me a sense of satisfaction to know that he is reachable wirelessly and that I can see him to say goodnight before I go to bed.
Remembering to Remember
Let’s face it, nowadays there’s no excuse for either partner to forget important events such as birthdays or anniversaries. We can now wirelessly sync our PDAs to display parallel information (and reminders) and our calendars can even prompt to tell us that we need to buy a card, gift and so on; so there’s no chance of any big day slipping our minds. This does, however raise the question: “Has technology taken the romance out of modern marriage, or has it positively enhanced it?
For example, from a wife’s perspective, should I celebrate the fact that a reminder pops up on my husband’s screen about my birthday several days before the event and then gives him an option to purchase his card and gift online? Should I be thrilled that the same store then provides suggestions as to the ideal gift, based upon my age, weight and hair color? Or should I look back wistfully on yesteryear, when he all too often hurriedly grabbed a bunch of flowers on the way home along with the only ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR WIFE” card left in the garage shop and then tried to discretely phone a restaurant to book a last minute table? Should the ‘new and improved’ wirelessly-enhanced version of my event-ready husband be applauded or chastised? A personal choice I realise, but I rather liked the bashful last minute romantic offerings of the old Dean. Call me an old fashioned girl, but there was something quite endearing about the sudden realization of the missing card or gift that made the ‘making up for it’ so much more romantic than the sometimes all too smug handing over of the perfect (haveIgotagiftforyou.com) prezzie (beautifully gift wrapped as an optional extra of course!).
A Debt of Gratitude
I fear that I may be somewhat straying from the core message of this piece. It was intended from the start to be a grapple of the Grattons, a wireless rant if you will, about how wireless might be used to enhance and improve my husband. Instead, I find myself singing its praises for the most part for having narrowed the distance between us on so many occasions. I guess that I’m just a woman who’s content with her man after all. Unlike wireless technology, we don’t always want a seamless and invisible connection, especially in the bedroom! Marriage is all too often turbulent, messy and passionate, but that’s what fundamentally keeps it alive. So whilst we may have narcissistic fantasies of what the perfect spouse should be I have to admit that absolute perfection would inevitably grow to be boring very quickly; hence a dichotomy forms, since being boring ultimately makes the perfect man imperfect! Similarly, control shouldn’t be one sided, as experienced within a wireless context – no master and slave relationship for me thank you very much, but a joining of minds and souls that, if correctly balanced, withstands the test of time.
There is no doubt that wireless technology surrounds us and will continue to grow and, to some extent, dominate our lives. Even smarter homes will rise up with greater incorporated technology and more wireless capability than ever perceived possible, but the truly smart family will be able to distinguish, and nurture, the difference between real-time and real times together. Sounds terribly corny I know but it’s a statement that will undoubtedly hold particular meaning for those spouses who see more of their husbands or wives on their computer screens than they do on their sofas.
For as long as I have known my husband, he has been passionate about wireless technology. Out of this passion has sprung an extraordinary career, resulting in the publication of three amazing books on wireless technology along with a string of successful articles. For this, above all else, I owe wireless technology a debt of gratitude and I can honestly say that, for all intents and purposes, my husband has been truly wirelessly-enhanced. So thank you wireless for making my husband the man he is today; successful, happy and, although not always here, always loved.
Read my husband's corresponding hub here!
Follow Sarah-Jayne on Twitter: http://twitter.com/grattongirl
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