08 Feb 5 ways your smartphone is ruining your relationship
The amount of time we all spend on our smartphones is taking a toll on all our relationships. With 63% of adults aged 18 and 29 saying they sleep with their phones or tablets in their beds and 20% of young adults admitting to actually being on their phones during sex it’s no exaggeration to say our phones are rapidly becoming the ‘other person’ in our relationships.
Here are five very specific ways in which the time you spend on your smartphone is ruining your relationship;
1. You’re less connected when you’re together
When you spend your meal time with your partner texting a friend, scrolling through Facebook or answering emails, not only are you communicating that your partner is not as important as your phone but you’re also not really being present for them. Any attempts at conversation or engagement are liable to be met with a distracted and vague response, because you’re not really ‘there’. This is bad news for deepening and strengthening your connection.
2. Fights escalate via text and instant messaging
We’ve all been there haven’t we? Arguments via text or instant messaging that escalate out of all proportion to what would have happened if we’d been face-to-face. Everyone hates it but everyone does it. In fact the use of text messages to apologize or settle disagreements was associated with a lower relationship quality for women, according to a study of adults ages 18 to 25 at Brigham Young University.
3. Lack of boundaries around work is affecting your time together
We’ve brought our work inboxes with us everywhere we go and that includes into our homes and our relationships. Being overly involved with work and responding to work emails 24/7, means that you can’t be present for your partner and that your life:work balance is seriously out of kilter.
4. Smartphone ‘snooping’ can lead to break-ups
Nearly twice as many men (62%) versus women (34%) in a survey of 2,000 UK adults admitted to snooping on a partner’s phone by checking text messages, emails or private messages on social networks. But 31% said the act of snooping in itself (even if there is nothing to find) could be grounds for ending the relationship as it shows lack of trust.
5. Arguments intensify prompted by lack of sleep
Those screens in the bedroom are not only affecting your communication and your sex lives but they’re also affecting your sleep. Blue light from all your digital devices stimulates melatonin (a brain chemical in your brain which regulates your body clock) which means you sleep for less and are less rested when you get up. All that sleep deprivation definitely isn’t improving your relationship skills.
For Valentine’s Day we’re encouraging everyone to be more mindful of the toll that being glued to your smartphone is taking on your relationship. Put down your phone and focus fully on your loved ones (and not just for Valentine’s Day) and watch all of your relationships improve.