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Is Your Smartphone Ruining Your Relationship?

Nearly 40 million people are dating online, but once they find love, is the digital obsession hurting their chances?
Is Your Smartphone Ruining Your Relationship?
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Nearly 40 million people are dating online, according to a recent article from U.S. News & World Report. Whether it’s a dating site, dating app or social media, technology is becoming the stepping-stone for relationships. Ironically the same way people are meeting their partners with an online device can be the same way their relationship ends. A new study shows how technology negatively impacts relationships causing interference in your interaction with one another.

“Technoference,” a term coined by Brandon T. McDaniel, a doctorial candidate in human development and family studies at Penn State, describes the interferences as “everyday intrusions and interruptions in couple interactions that take place due to the technology devices and their always-on and ever-present nature.”

McDaniel’s study, which will be published in the 2015 Psychology of Popular Media Culture, surveyed 143 married/cohabiting women. The majority of the participants agreed that technology devices frequently interrupted time spent with their partners. The more frequent technoference appears in the relationship, the more likely the relationship will suffer.

Even if the technoference is unintentional, allowing devices such as computers, video games and mobile phones to interrupt time spent with a romantic partner may show a negative assumption of what is valued most by the other person. McDaniel suggests that couples set boundaries for technology use and schedule time during the day to be disengaged with devices while spending time with your partner.

So much of life can be missed when engaged with our devices, how will you find time to be device-free with your partner in 2015? Do you have “no device” time in your relationship?