When most people today think of media in a marriage, I think they probably are thinking of the newest technologies--the data plans for cell phones, the newest phones, the ipods and ipads, the laptop computers, etc.
In our marriage, our biggest sources of media use come in the form of watching television and using the Internet. My husband loves to watch TV. He grew up in a home where the TV was always on, even just in the background for noise. Most of the time, he doesn't watch anything of substance, it's just something to occupy his time and mind while he is away from work and "relaxing". The television is actually a huge source of contention for us. It really bothers me that my husband can watch mind-numbing television for HOURS and never tire of it.
That said, I am one who could spend hours on the computer. I check Facebook, talk to friends and family online. I check my emails (I have three accounts--two are mostly for spam, they're the ones I put when an email address is needed for something, the other is personal), I write on my blogs, I post on a parent discussion board, I read other people's blogs, I research for preschool ideas and other things. I play around with my digital pictures, making photo books or other things. I write stories and books.
There are many nights when my husband comes home from his typical 11 or 12 hour day and he sits for three hours in front of the TV flipping channels aimlessly while I sit on the computer catching up on blog-reading or writing or whatever. When the kids are in bed is uninterrupted time for me to do these things. Often, when I'm posting on the blog, I'll get going with an idea, then I'll be interrupted, and then I can't figure out where I was going with it. So those evening hours when the house is quiet, it's really tempting to just spend all that time on the computer, especially when all my husband is doing is watching TV. Even if I were to forgo the computer in exchange for a conversation with my husband, most likely, the TV would be on in the background and we'd just end up watching that instead.
These devices are incredibly addictive. As useful as computers are and as wonderful as TV is (we know what's happening in the WORLD the very minutes in which it is happening), they are incredibly addictive.
The important thing is to set limits. Yes, even adults need limits. There are many times when I will set a timer for myself with my Internet use. I give myself 30 minutes to check Facebook, email and whatever blogging I want to do. If only I could get my husband to do the same! We've tried (I've tried) instigating a "no media night" where both of us refrain from watching TV or going on the computer, but that hasn't worked very well. We'll need to try something else or really set up one day a week that ALWAYS a no TV day. When I was growing up, we couldn't do any of that on Sunday. I try really hard to not use either one on Sunday, but when my husband is gone most of the day for work, it's so easy to be online a lot and to flip the TV on for the kids. There isn't a whole lot else to do on Sundays, since we don't go out on those days.
I can certainly see how all these modern media outlets can interfere with a marriage and cause strife. It's just something we have to work around since it's new to our generation. (Click here for Media Mondays. Can't get the picture to link.)