March 5, 2018 / Modified mar 5, 2018 3:58 p.m.

Researcher Looks at Impact of Smartphones on Romantic Relationships

While it creates a direct line to our partners, dependency may mean distance.

Smartphone cell hero Smartphones can connect people, or create a distance. (PHOTO: Via Pexels.com)

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Smartphones can help or hinder your relationship, or so says a researcher at the University of Arizona.

Matthew Lapierre, assistant professor at the University of Arizona, studies how smartphones affect couples. Cell phones can bring romantic partners closer together or have the opposite effect, he said.

"What we have been finding so far, is the more I use my smartphone, the more I text with my partner," Lapierre said. "The more I might shoot off a, 'Hey how’s it going today?'"

That's the good aspect, he said.

But he warned that getting too attached to your smartphone can leave your significant other feeling left out.

"It's when I feel that I can't live without my device," Lapierre said. "Or when I feel like, 'Oh, I need this,' or, 'It really helps me get through the day,' that we find that you communicate less with your partner. It's less affectionate and you are actually less happy with your romantic relationship."

Lapierre said it is important to remember that smartphones are a new thing and people are still learning how to understand the phenomenon.

That's actually a reason not to panic, he said.

"I think like all technologies, we reach a point of homeostasis, where things sort of sort themselves out," he said. "When we find problematic use, anything that really sort of impacts public life, things will be done. Like we've seen that with distracted driving right? ... We’ve started to institute rules, laws."

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