Are Gadget-Free Bedrooms the Secret to a Happy Relationship?

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A study published last month in The International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, for example, 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. Or 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 believed that 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.

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.”

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