Tech Connect

Smartphone Etiquette: 4 Tips for Technology and Your Relationship

Smartphone Etiquette: 4 Tips for Technology and Your Relationship

How are you and your significant other managing your respective Smartphone usage when you’re together? If you’re like most modern couples, it’s likely that you’ve experienced phubbing at least once. Phubbing combines the words phone and snubbing and translates into the practice of ignoring someone in favor of looking at one’s mobile phone.

With more Americans checking their phones 150+ times a day, phubbing has become a legitimate source of relationship conflict. In fact, 70% of respondents in one study reported that their partners phubbing hurt their ability to interact with them.

How can you save your romantic relationship from phubbing? Just follow these Smartphone tips and advice:

1. Keep Your Notifications Silent

Noises, flashing screens and other notifications can be useful, but they can quickly become distracting and irritating for those around you, especially when you’re spending dedicated time with someone.

While your phone’s vibrate setting may be useful when it’s stowed away, the sound of your phone vibrating on a table or in your bag may become annoying to others. To put your Smartphone on silent go into your Settings menu and click > Sounds on iOS; on Android, click Priority Mode to turn the volume up or down.

2. Put Your Phone Down When Your Partner Asks You To

If your partner asks you to put your phone down, do it respond quickly and respectfully. Don’t say “just a second” or fluff them off; remember that they’re interested in spending their time with you, not with your screen.

If you find yourself getting annoyed, take it as a compliment that your partner respects you enough to ask for your full, undivided attention when you’re spending time together.

3. Decide on Special Circumstances in Advance

There are often special or emergency situations which necessitate Smartphone use such as the birth of a child, a family emergency or when your kids are with a babysitter. Whatever the reason, make sure to discuss when exceptions to the “no Smartphone” rule are acceptable in advance so that feelings don’t get hurt.

4. Take Your Phone Off the Table

Even if your phone is silent and face-down on the table, it’s still a distraction. 89% of adults reported that they used their Smartphone to contact another person when they were in a social setting and 82% reported that it deteriorated the conversation.

Instead, keep your phone in your pocket, bag or in another room where you won’t be tempted to look at it and ignore your partner or pals.

Navigating modern relationships can be tricky, especially when technology is involved. By following these tips you can set yourself on a path to a happy, respectful relationship which won’t compete with your Smartphone.

Heidi Raker, mother of three tech-obsessed teens, has written about lifestyle products and parenting for over 30 years. She has a no-cellphone-at-meals policy, which remains one of her biggest family challenges.

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