Saturday morning in the hammock, in the breeze…I was reading the most recent Psychology Today and came across an article titled “Love Interruptus” – about how devices like your smartphone are damaging the quality of your relationships, particularly close, deeply personal partnerships.

I found it broadly fascinating because I was already aware of how poorly human beings multitask, and had had a few tough conversations with my spouse about my own inability to hold a conversation with her while simultaneously having my phone in view.

But what really grabbed my attention were two specific phrases.

I always enjoy good writing, but recently I’ve noticed that some writers are especially good at capturing an idea in a single short, powerful phrase that not only sticks in the brain, but begs to be repeated to others.

The author notes that modern devices have been a boon for relationships in some ways – for example allowing easier coordination of everyday activities.

But they are also detrimental in many ways. Capturing that whole idea in one powerful phrase, she writes (with appropriate credit to the French philosopher Paul Virilio),

When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck.

I read that phrase just yesterday morning, and have already used it twice in conversations. It’s such a pithy, memorable encapsulation of an idea with great depth and power.

The other phrase that jumped out at me came later in the article, where the author described how couples often have their best laughs, conversations, interactions, etc. when they are between other activities, during downtime. She writes,

Love lurks in the lulls – in the unstructured moments of just being together – the times we are now most likely to turn to our devices.”

Those first 5 words – “Love lurks in the lulls…” – just nailed it for me.

I encourage anyone to read the article, especially if you own a smart device and want to be successful in your relationships.

But I also you encourage you, in your own communication of important ideas to others, to figure out that one short, powerful phrase that sticks in the brain – whether it is the parallel structure of “invent the ship, invent the shipwreck” or the alliteration of “Love lurks in the lulls” or something else altogether.

You’ll increase your chances of getting your idea remembered, and possibly even repeated.

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