Researchers found this ‘technoference’ — even if infrequent — sets off a chain of negative events: more conflict about technology, lower relationship quality, lower life satisfaction and higher risk of depression.
“This is likely a circular process that people become trapped in where allowing technology to interfere, even in small ways, in one’s relationship at least sometimes causes conflict, which can begin to slowly erode the quality of their relationship,” said Brandon T McDaniel of The Pennsylvania State University.
“Over time, individuals feel less satisfied with their relationship as well as with the way their life is currently going. They may not even realise this is happening,” McDaniel said.
At that point, some may start using technology to escape their bad feelings. That leads to the possibility of more technoference, continuing the cycle. Study participants reported many types of technoference happening at least daily.
Sixty-two per cent said technology interferes with their free time together while 35% said their partner will pull out the phone mid-conversation if they receive a notification.