Let’s face it, you are most likely addicted to our Smartphones and your addiction has probably impacted your relationship with your family members and your significant other. Look around, you will see that there is a universal urge to be online and to keep tabs on our Facebook or Twitter feed. There has been enough debate about how our addiction to Smartphones has impacted our health and our behavior. The bottom line is simple – yes, technology has impacted our behavior and relationships. The question is by how much?
Pew Research Center had published the summary results done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among 2,252 adults. Here are the key extracts from the survey. You read the complete report here.
Internet and Social Media usage are a big deal
Technology plays a prominent role in the lives of partnered Americans. Among those who are married or in a committed relationship:
- 88% use the internet (as do 85% of American adults)
- 71% use social networking sites (as do 72% of all internet users)
- 93% have a cell phone (as do 91% of adults)
Couples use technology in the little and large moments. They negotiate over when to use it and when to abstain. A portion of them quarrel over its use and have had hurtful experiences caused by tech use. At the same time, some couples find that digital tools facilitate communication and support. A majority of those in couples maintain their own separate email and social media accounts though a smaller number report sharing accounts and calendars. And fully two-thirds of couples share passwords. Older couples are especially likely to share an email account.
Long term relationships lead to more sharing
Long-term couples are more likely to approach their online accounts as a joint undertaking. Couples who have been together for a longer period of time, and therefore, may have first encountered many of these technologies as a couple, rather than as single individuals—tend to have higher rates of account sharing compared with couples who have been together for a shorter period of time.
Younger couples believe the Internet has more impact on their relationship
Younger and more tech-savvy Americans tend to view the internet as having a more pronounced impact on their relationships. 45% of internet users in couples ages 18-29 say that the internet has some impact on their relationship. On the other hand, just 11% of such internet users in couples ages 65 and older say that the internet has an impact on their relationship.
Online dating results in more Internet usage as couples
Adults in partnerships or marriages of ten years or less look quite similar to single and dating adults in their use of the internet and social media for the work of meeting, flirting and checking up on people they are about to date or have dated in the past. These adults have already incorporated the technology in the beginnings of their relationship and now continue to do so as they enter a more stable phase of their romantic lives.
Technology impacts relationships negatively
Technology can be a source of tension in relationships. Some 8% of online adults in a marriage or partnership have argued with their partner about the amount of time one of them was spending online, and 4% have been upset by something they found out their partner was doing online.
Beyond these general annoyances, cell phones seem to have a particularly distracting effect on relationships. Fully 25% of cell phone owners in a committed relationship have felt that their spouse or partner was distracted by their cell phone when spending time together. Cell phone distractions are especially common among younger couples—some 42% of 18-29-year-olds in marriages or serious relationships have experienced this issue. Other groups of couples who have experienced this at relatively high rates include parents, college graduates, and those with relatively high household incomes.
Technology can also have a positive impact on your relationship
Young people (those ages 18-29) are also particularly likely to experience more positive outcomes with respect to technology and relationship communication. Some 33% of text messaging users in this age group who are in a committed relationship have texted their partner while both are at home, while 41% of young internet users or cell phone owners in relationships have felt closer to their partner due to online or text conversations, and 23% have resolved an argument in the digital sphere that was difficult to resolve in person. Parents were also likely to describe feeling closer to their partner due to technology (26% of internet users or cell owners in relationships) and to text while at home together (30% of texters in relationships).
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