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Technology and dating relationships

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When boredom hits us these days there is always something on the phone to instantly hold our attention, for at least a minute or two.

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From my experience of dealing with couples and families suffering from the effects of technology, it is more often men that have the compulsion to reach for their phone or i Pad at any given moment.As a couples and family therapist, I am no stranger to the polarising effects of technology.I have seen many couples suffer because one, or often both, partners are slaves to the screen.Board games used to be a staple feature of any families’ entertainment options and provided a healthy forum for shared experiences.It is not uncommon now to see family members all playing their own games on their own phones in complete silence.Each time we pick up our phone we do so for roughly 30 seconds to two minutes.

This may be spent scrolling through Facebook, chatting to friends or family on Whatsapp or even just deleting old pictures.

Partners complain that although their ‘other half’ is physically present they are not really there, as they are mentally consumed by the distraction of social media, rolling news or even obsessive games. The first thing to address when technology is impacting negatively into your relationship, is why is this happening?

The general range of feedback I receive includes: ‘it’s my chance in the day to keep in touch with my friends’ There is a common theme of people turning to their screens to relax instead of seeking this comfort from partners or loved ones.

The downside of this revolution is the increased time we spend staring at the screen and not engaging with those around us.

There are on average ninety minutes every day that are currently taken up by our smartphones and gadgets which could be spent doing something else.

‘Digital Detoxes’ are becoming increasingly popular as it becomes clear that the only way people will put their phones down is if they are forced to.