Daily "technoference" hurting relationships,
4 December 2014
New research finds that the seemingly small,
everyday interruptions that come with smart
phones and other devices are interfering with
A study involving 143 women in committed
relationships found that 74 percent of them think
that cell phones detract from their interactions with
their spouse or partner.
And researchers found this "technoference" – even
if infrequent – sets off a chain of negative events:
more conflict about technology, lower relationship
quality, lower life satisfaction and higher risk of
Brandon T. McDaniel of The Pennsylvania State
University and Sarah Coyne of Brigham Young
University authored the study for Psychology of
Popular Media Culture.
"This is likely a circular process that people
become trapped in where allowing technology to
interfere, even in small ways, in one's relationship
at least sometimes causes conflict, which can begin
to slowly erode the quality of their relationship,"
McDaniel said. "Over time, individuals feel less
satisfied with their relationship as well as with the
way their life is currently going. They may not even
realize this is happening."
At that point, some may start using technology to
escape their bad feelings. That leads to the
possibility of more technoference, continuing the
"It's a wake-up call to me because I realized I'm
doing this too," Coyne said. "That's insane to say
that as a professional who researches this, but we
can let these devices overrule our entire lives if we
Study participants reported the following types of
technoference happening at least daily:
62% said technology interferes with their
free time together.
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35% say their partner will pull out the phone
mid-conversation if t...