DEAR HARRIETTE: In today's world, social media and technology are a big part of everybody's life, especially my girlfriend's. She is constantly attached to her phone or watching shows on her laptop. I understand that there are important matters that need to be attended to on her devices, but I want her to enjoy living in the moment more and appreciate the things around her, not just her phone.
Another big issue I have with her and technology is the fact that she loves publicizing our relationship. Sometimes I feel as if the things we do are purely for an Instagram picture. How do I help my girlfriend reduce her technology usage? -- Technology-Addicted Girlfriend, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR TECHNOLOGY-ADDICTED GIRLFRIEND: In this day and age, it seems impossible to have privacy. Most people are attached to their electronic devices in one way or another. That does not mean you should give your girlfriend a pass. As it relates to posts about the two of you and your relationship, you need to talk to her and establish boundaries around what is OK for her to post. This may mean she has to get your nod before she posts a photo or shares a detail about your life together. What probably won't work is asking her to post nothing at all about you, since this brings her joy.
As far as your girlfriend's inability to separate herself from her devices, what you may be able to do is lure her away here and there. Plan outdoor activities where you visit beautiful locations, dine at interesting restaurants, engage with other people. Ask her to put her device away for most of these experiences. When you reach a gorgeous vista, encourage her to pull out her phone to take a photo -- then put it away again. Same for shooting a delicious-looking meal. Do your best to help manage her device engagement. Sometimes you may need to be stern and demand that she give you some solo time, devoid of any social media connection.