In the first blog of this series, we examined recent research into the strain technology weights on the relationship between lovers. Being hyper-connected to your phone was found to be correlated with reduced levels of relationship satisfaction, falling out of love, an increased tendency to be less satisfied with life overall, and higher depression rates. On a survey of college students (the cohort found to be most dependent on their smartphones), a significant link was found between higher levels of dependency on smartphones and higher levels of relationship uncertainty.
Detaching yourself from your phone and truly unplugging when you are with your loved ones will improve your life – enabling you to cultivate deeper connections and maintain them. Cecile Andres, a leader in the Voluntary Simplicity movement, reports in her survey that North American couples spend an average of just 12 minutes a day talking together. A growing body of psychology research is examining how increased reliance on technology affects our closest relationships, particularly when used during meals and intimate experiences. In a Harris Interactive poll, one-third of adults interviewed reported having used their phones while on dinner dates. More worrisome, nearly 20% of smartphone owners ages 18 to 34 reported having used their phone while having sex!
So how do you have a healthy, balanced and loving relationship in a digital world full of noise and distraction? Strategically plan “device-free time” with each other. Disconnecting digitally will help you connect personally with each other. Check the status of your relationship rather than the status of your social media feed.