American College of Pediatricians 10 October 2016
Family First Comment: Whoops!!
• 62% said technology interferes with their free time together.
• 35% say their partner will pull out the phone mid-conversation if they receive a notification.
• 25% said their partner will actively text other people during the couple’s face-to-face conversations.
A recent study found that cell phones are distractions that can interfere with romantic relationships. The study focused on women in committed relationships and found that 74% reported, “that cell phones detract from their interactions with their spouse or partner.” This “technoference” causes “more conflict about technology, lower relationship quality, lower life satisfaction and [a] higher risk of depression.” A different study referenced in the article “found that serious couple conversations, apologies, and disagreements do more harm than good if not done in person. For relationship quality, the best texting stays positive.”
The study on “technoference” reported these statistics:
- 62% said technology interferes with their free time together.
- 35% say their partner will pull out the phone mid-conversation if they receive a notification.
- 25% said their partner will actively text other people during the couple’s face-to-face conversations.
To alleviate this problem, couples can try the following when they are together.
- Place the phone somewhere else on silent, such as in a purse or on a shelf.
- If you need to check on something legitimately important, provide an explanation first and then check your phone.
- Don’t get defensive when you get called out for technoference – it’s somebody’s way of saying they’d like to connect with you in-person.
Keeping technology under control helps couples focus on face to face interaction, increasing the relationship quality.