clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is your smartphone damaging your relationship?

It’s in your partner’s hand at the dinner table; glowing as he reads it in bed; taking her eyes away from you while you’re talking.

It’s no wonder that 70 percent of women asked in a recent survey about smartphone habits said their partner’s use of technology was interfering with their relationship.

A study published Monday in “Psychology of Popular Media” called the phenomenon “technoference.” Researchers asked 143 married or cohabitating women about technology and their relationship.

The vast majority said that computers, smartphones and other devices got in the way during couple leisure time, conversations and meals. The women who reported the highest levels of technoference also reported higher levels of conflict with their partner (largely over technology), lower satisfaction with life and relationship and more symptoms of depression.

The women said computers were the main source of technoference, followed by cell phones — and a third of the women said their partner would take out their phone during a conversation or meal, according to NPR.

The study only asked women about their relationships because it was part of a larger study on mothers and media, but it would be interesting to hear what men would say on the subject.

“I think there definitely could be an effect on men,” said Sarah Coyne, one of the study’s authors.

Coyne said she hopes to look at men and technoference next.