Smartphones Don’t Ruin Relationships – Sick Phone Habits Do

A smartphone is a powerful invention designed to keep us connected, and it’s ironic how it also becomes the culprit for keeping most people apart. But the question is, should smartphones take all the blame?

It’s apparent that the undue and inappropriate use of smartphones, as well as social platforms, can kill the romance. One study, published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, revealed a significant link between levels of smartphone dependency and levels of relationship uncertainty. According to the research, people who were more dependent on their phones reported being less certain and satisfied with their relationships.

In addition, the study brought an even deeper conclusion: it didn’t matter how much the person used the device but how heavy the psychological relationship the person has with the device. It has something to do with how dependent the person is to his/her smartphone and how the device controls his/her happiness, self-esteem, and life and relationship satisfaction.

Have you ever sat across the dinner table from a loved one and hoped they would look up and engage in a conversation? Or rather, have you ever been guilty of such? Here are 5 ways you’re permitting smartphones to put a strain on your relationship.

1. When you commit “phubbing” or phone snubbing

Nothing ruins a date more than the urge of checking your phone in the middle of a supposedly fun conversation and drift away from the talk. You’re physically there yet it feels like you’re miles away.

Jealousy towards a smartphone is a thing. The suitable term is “phubbing” (phone snubbing). Whether it’s for entertainment or for work-related purposes, constantly checking your phone makes your partner feel snubbed. Your partner is not receiving the attention he/she needs because your hand is always glued to your mobile device. It’s as if he/she has to always compete with a rectangular non-living thing for your undivided attention so you’d listen to them.

Real talk – when was the last time you actually stared at your partner’s eyes for more than 10 seconds? Maybe it’s time to put the phone down and give heed to your partner, make eye contact and comprehend.

2. When you prioritize your online profile

You’re celebrating your second anniversary in a fine restaurant. Taking a good picture of the food, the restaurant interiors, and of you and your partner is a no-brainer. Your partner has started eating but you’re still on your phone, choosing the perfect VSCOcam filter and uploading the pictures online. You post the pictures with the caption, “Had fun with my love. #2ndAnniversary #relationshipgoals #GoingStrong,” but the truth is you barely talked since you did nothing but take pictures after pictures after pictures.

You photo everything; you experience little to nothing.

Real-life interactions are dulled when someone feels the urge to grab their phone and get lost in the virtual world, even if the intention is to improve the relationship. You try so hard to build a perfect highlight reel online through staged pictures and videos. You’re too busy in documenting everything that you actually miss out on everything. Such act hinders you from having a genuine and healthy bond and creates an invisible barrier between the two of you.

3. When you prefer texting over talking face to face

Since when did “ROFL” become more fun than actually rolling on the floor laughing with your partner?

When you text, you limit your verbal communication to words. You scrap out certain details that are also significant parts of the message you want to get across, like eye contact and emotions expressed through non-verbal cues such as voice pitch, touch, facial expression, and body language. Even emojis and gifs can’t beat the impact of talking face to face.

Texting is great if you’re away and the time and circumstances won’t allow you to talk via phone call. But if sending messages via text or chat is your core way of communicating, then you might want to rethink.

4. When you share conflicts on social media

Before you can even resolve your small conflicts in private, it has been resolved by dozens of your so-called followers, who comment on the story you posted based on what you present them.

Don’t post your relationship’s dirty laundries online. Don’t seek validation for these people aren’t love gurus and marriage counselors. Don’t demonize your partner out of anger, rip his self-esteem, and then watch him cyberbullied.

5. When you don’t respect your partner’s privacy

It’s okay to snap a picture of your partner sleeping soundly in bed, with mouth open, and then laugh at the picture together. It’s okay to talk about the awkward moment when your partner peed on his shorts one night at a bar while drunk. But sharing the embarrassing photo and story on social media without your partner’s consent? Hell, no.

What do you want to get? Attention? Views? Likes? Never ever, under any circumstances, do something that’ll make your partner feel uncomfortable.

How to prevent smartphones from sabotaging your relationship

Issues such as lower life and relationship satisfaction and higher levels of anxiety and depression caused by technology use are becoming rampant. You can prevent these conflicts and maintain a harmonious relationship by doing the following:

  • Avoid phone use while having a meal with your partner, especially if it’s a romantic occasion.
  • Have agreed upon limits and boundaries with the use of phones.
  • Be responsible for what you post online. Remember that a small argument posted on social media can result in a much bigger, heavier, and more hurting conflict.
  • Practice total transparency with phone use, like discussing the things that should and should not be posted, as well as the people that should not be followed.
  • Try to engage in off-the-grid adventures with your partner every once in a while.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. When she’s not using her pen in writing self-help articles focused on love, dating, and relationships, she spends her time creating poems and screenplays, painting, and making music.

About the Author CSNatividad

Leave a Comment: