We love our smartphones — how they keep us updated, entertained with all those nifty apps and how they make sure you never forget an appointment or take a wrong turn. While we love our gadgets, the last thing we’d want is for our tech to start getting in the way of our IRL relationships. With cell phone addiction rampant and growing, that does seem to be the case. A study that came out of Baylor University in Waco, TX found that “phubbing” or “partner phone snubbing” behavior (described as “the extent to which people use or are distracted by their cellphones while in the company of their relationship partners”) leads to depression and lower levels of relationship satisfaction in the partner.
The study interviewed 453 adults in the US and had them rank statements like “my partner places his or her cellphone where they can see it when we are together” and “if there is a lull in our conversation, my partner will check his or her cellphone” for veracity. According to Dr. Meredith David, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study, “Our findings suggest that the more often a couple’s time spent together is interrupted by one individual attending to his/her cellphone, the less likely it is that the other individual is satisfied in the overall relationship.” Uh oh. Hear that guys?
A whopping 46.3 percent of participants reported having been “phubbed” by their partner at some point in their relationship. As cool as Siri (or Cortana) is, you never want to pick her over your S.O. Here are some ways you can remedy this.
1. Make rules and stick to them: Make a hard and fast rule during mealtimes only that you will not have your phone anywhere in sight. Keep yourself accountable — so your partner doesn’t have to.
2. Turn off push notifications: If your phone isn’t lighting up every five seconds, there will be less temptation to look at it. Just go to Settings>Notifications and switch them off app by app.
3. Use the ‘Do Not Disturb’ setting: When you’re having date night, set your phone to ‘do not disturb,’ which iPhone users, is the little crescent moon icon in your pull up Control Center. In case of emergencies, people have the option of calling twice in order to circumvent the setting or you can set it so that your Favorites’ calls (hi Mom) always come through.
4. Use a real alarm clock — and charge your phone at night across the room: A lot of us keep our phones right next to our beds because we use our nifty smartphones as our alarms. Many of us also catch up with our partners after a long day right before bed. Rather than spending that time glued to a screen, invest in a real alarm clock and keep your phone far away before you sleep, so you can have a face-to-face moment with you S.O.
5. Delete your games: We looooove our apps and our games and stuff, but we love our partners more, right? I know this one is hard, but if you find that one game is becoming a total time suck on your life, it might be better for your relationship to ditch it. Goodbye, Kim Kardashian Hollywood.
Do you phub? Will you be trying out these tips? Tell us in the comments below!
(h/t Huffington Post)