Your cell phone is ruining your chances at having a happy relationship, according to science.
A new study from Baylor University shows that couples who snub each other by prioritizing their phones over one another are much more likely to be unhappy both with their love lives and themselves. Researchers call the act of ignoring your partner while using your phone in front of them “Pphubbing,” or “partner phone snubbing,” and its effects on our psyches prove to be damaging.
The study found:
• 46.3 percent of the respondents reported being phubbed by their partner
• 22.6 percent said this pphubbing caused conflict in their relationships
• 36.6 percent reported feeling depressed at least some of the time
Overall, only 32 percent of respondents stated that they were very satisfied with their relationship, the study shows.
Honestly, it’s surprising that only 46.3 percent of the participants responded that their partners frequently choose their phone over them. Every couple seems to grapple with this issue on a continual basis, and it’s often a point of contention within the relationship. We’ve all seen it: he compulsively checks his Fantasy Football stats while she is snapping and uploading photos to Instagram, all while the two are talking past one another. Nevertheless, if we accept the seemingly lowball figure, it’s still disconcerting that almost half of the couples in the study are being pphubbed by their partners and that only 32 percent of these couples are “very satisfied” with their relationships.
The study also found a direct correlation between how often their partners checked their phones and how secure they felt in the relationship. In other words, the more often couples check their phones in front of one another, the less secure they are apt to feel about their relationship. Additionally the more one got pphubbed by their partner, the worse they felt about themselves, which is why depression was more likely among those who felt less-secure about their relationships.
It makes sense, as constantly losing to your partner’s Twitter feed gives off the impression that you are not as valuable as a stream of tweets from strangers. No wonder so many of the participants often feel depressed, because their self-worth is getting (however inadvertently) hacked to pieces by the ones they love the most.
Seriously, what kind of sick dystopia do we live in where a box that lights up and makes noises is inhibiting us from making contact with real people?
Yesterday a group of sorority girls perfectly embodied our cellphone addicted culture when they totally ignored a baseball game in order to take a batch of selfies. Behold, the future:
Their lack of interaction with one another is startling. The only time they seem to talk to one another is to snap a selfie.
This study isn’t the only bad news to come out about the damaging effects of our phone addiction this week. The Washington Post reported an increase of injuries caused by people walking while looking down at their cellphones.
So not only are we wrecking our love lives, we are literally injuring ourselves all the time because we can’t kick our cell phone habit. Alas, in our efforts to become more connected with one another and more self-aware by virtually engaging with one another via technology, it seems that we’re missing the point entirely. If you want a happy, secure relationship, science suggest that you should definitely put down the phone.