Your Smartphone May Be Ruining Your Relationships, Studies Find

By Danielle Braff
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Anyone who has tried to have a conversation with someone only to notice that the other person is looking down at his or her phone knows the feeling, but recent studies are daunting and revealing: Relationships are no match for phones.

Chicago Tribune

When she’s playing with her children, Sandra Kim’s phone is nowhere in sight.

For instance, she puts it upstairs before going downstairs to play with her children. Kim, a stay-at-home mother in Fairfax, Va., to three children between the ages of 3 and 8, knows that she’s no match for the allure of social media, text messages and phone calls. She also knows that whenever she peeks at her phone, her kids get upset.

“When we’re playing, I call my husband to tell him that I won’t be accessible for a few hours,” Kim said.

It’s a bold move at a time when cellphones are causing trouble in relationships. Anyone who has tried to have a conversation with someone only to notice that the other person is looking down at his or her phone knows the feeling, but recent studies are daunting and revealing: Relationships are no match for phones.

A study published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture asked college couples how dependent they were on their smartphones and how difficult it would be for them to go without their phone for a day.

Regardless of how much they used their phones, the level of dependency on them determined how confident these couples were about their relationships. Those who felt that their partners were too dependent on their devices said they weren’t as satisfied in their relationship as those who perceived their partners to be less dependent on them.

Another study by online security company AVG found that 54 percent of children thought their parents check their devices too often and 32 percent of kids feel unimportant when parents are distracted by their phones. A quarter of parents want to check their phones less often.

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