Technology is bringing people closer. That’s a fact.
But the painful truth is that it’s driving them ever farther apart, according researchers.
There’s a problem in this contradictory view of mobile phones, tablets and computers, but some psychologists are offering a practical explanation.
Sure, these gadgets have produced friendships, romances and marriages but they have also led to a whole lot of issues for people in relationships, they said.
A study published last month in the International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy found that when one person in a relationship is using some forms of technology more than the other, it makes the second person feel ignored and insecure, according to the New York Times.
As your therapist may say, it brings up a whole lot of abandonment issues.
In a study published this year, Pew Research found that 25 percent of cellphone users in a relationship said their partner was distracted by that person’s cellphone when they were together.
Eight percent said they had argued about how much time one party spends online.
“Engaging in technology separate to a partner while in the presence of them encourages a disconnection rather than a connection,” said Christina Leggett, a senior researcher at the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia, who wrote the study with Pieter J. Rossouw, a professor there.
“Disconnection in relationships tends to lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and comprises an individual’s sense of safety, attachment and control.”
In 2013, a study by Brigham Young University researchers concluded that texting too much within a relationship could leave partners very dissatisfied with their overall communication.
Saying “sorry” over text in an argument only made things worse, the same study found.
And in 2012, researchers at the Baylor University Hankamer School of Business found that paying too much attention to a cellphone could ruin relationships with loved ones and friends.
“Phubbing your significant other by giving precedence to your phone activities over paying attention to your significant other is a path to strained relationships,” James Roberts, a professor at Baylor who wrote the 2012 study, wrote in an email, using the shorthand term for “phone snubbing”.
“When one or both people in a couple overuse [variously defined] their cellphone, or other technology, it is likely to undermine their relationship.”
And when that happens, you can’t text your significant other that it’s all over.
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