ERP 011: How Technology Impacts Our Relationships
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Technological devices are a part of our lives. Most of us have smartphones and use them consistently throughout the day. They are impacting the quality of our relationships, our attention, and ability to be present.
Infographic on Mashable:
- 80% of time on phones is in non-voice activities
- 84% of people cannot go a single day without the use of their cell phone
- 58% can’t go an hour without checking their phone
- 95% of people use their phone right before going to bed
“Technoference”: technology interfering in relationship
@ Difei Li | Flickr
Is techoference happening in your relationship? If so, do you think it is an issue? Do you think you and your partner can you improve the way you negotiate technology together?
- Mashable: “A study showed that people who engaged in personal discussions when a cell phone was nearby — even if neither was actually using it — reported lower relationship quality and less trust for their partner.”
- NPR: “70 percent of women in a recent survey said smartphones were interfering in their romantic relationship.”
- NPR: “The study, published Monday in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, says technology and the screens that consume us are creating “technoference” in couples. Here are 5 scenarios
- Most common, seeing a partner pick up his phone during “couple leisure time,” with 62 percent of women reporting this happened at least once a day.
- Forty percent of women said their men would get distracted by the TV during a conversation at least once a day
- While a third said he would take out his phone in the middle of a conversation or during a meal together
- A quarter said their partner would actually send texts or emails to another person while they were having a face-to-face conversation.
- Checking Facebook while in the middle of an argument”
- Other findings, the more conflict about technology within a relationship:
- Lower relationship satisfaction
- Lower life satisfaction
- Increase for depression
Some people use technology:
- As an escape mechanism or as an avoidance tool
- To soothe stress
@ Michael Coghlan | Flickr
- To be entertained
- To seek connection
- To gain information
Some partners feel:
- Left out or “out of the loop”
- Not important or a high priority
Here are some suggestions to consider:
1. Intentional Time: Making sure that you are your partner have quality and intentional time together.
- Eye to eye
- Skin to skin
- Touching, etc.
- Undivided attention
- Put phone out of reach and our of sight. Turn off ringers.
@ Stephen McCulloch | Flickr
2. Boundaries: Would it be helpful to have any consistent boundaries or times that you would like to be without technology?
- Greeting each other at the end of a work day
- Right before bed
- At night
3. Agreements: Have clear and fair agreements about the use of technology for certain occasions, like a date night or vacations.
- Tonight, let’s not be on our phones, except to check for messages from our babysitter
- Trips and vacations
- I would like to talk to you about this concern. Would you be willing to put down your phone?
4. Taking breaks: Do you have any time/s where you take an intention break from technology?
5. Communication: When you are using technology around your partner, do you communicate with him or her? Do you think it would be helpful to be more explicit at times (about what you are doing and how long you will be)?
- I am working on this project, and I will be done in 30 mins.
- If you want to spend time with your partner, asking for time without technology.
- Call it out “hey, I call technoference”
- Sonos: a wireless speaker system
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