May 11, 2022

What are the effects of technology on relationships? It’s not all bad news

The best thing to do if technoference is a burning issue in your relationship? You guessed it: Talk to your partner. But Dr. Drouin insists that threats and accusations should be avoided. Instead, try using “I” statements. For example, “I feel sad when I’m lying next to you but I’m not the center of your attention,” rather than “You’re always on your phone and it’s ruining our relationship.” Obviously, the latter is more likely to make the phubber (the phone damper) feel attacked and less open to adjusting their tech habits. Conversely, bringing up the subject in a non-threatening way can help you and your partner set technological boundaries that work for both of you. Think: putting the phones away at dinner or bedtime, or setting time limits for social media scrolling.

And it is worth noting that phones do not interfere in all relationships. “There are couples who are perfectly fine both being on the couch scrolling through technology while watching a show,” says Dr. Drouin. In other words, if the screens aren’t stopping anyone from meeting their needs, then keep calm and scroll.

2. Learn to read between the lines (of the text message).

For the past few months, my husband and I have been going to bed and waking up together. However, once the day has started, our communication is almost exclusively electronic: a shopping list by SMS, a reminder indicating which child must be picked up, a confirmation of the schedule for the coming weekend.

Mimi Winsberg, MDStanford-trained psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Light side health calls texting “the lingua franca of love” – ​​meaning that texting has become our primary form of communication, not just with friends and colleagues, but with our love partners.

And yet Dr Winsberg, who spent three years as a resident psychiatrist on Facebook, told SELF: “You may be the most tech-savvy person in the world, but our brains are still catching up with the way whose technology we use in our closest relationships. We have a lot to learn.

In his recently published book, Talking In Inches: A Psychiatrist Decodes Your Relationship Texts So You Don’t Have To, Dr. Winsberg draws on 25 years of clinical experience and research — his own and that of others — to help people understand the impact texting has on our relationships. Why send SMS? Dr. Winsberg argues that each person has ways of expressing and experiencing love, and since double-thumb phone messages have generally become the dominant mode of communication in modern relationships, these preferences come through clearly in texts. Terminology borrowed from the popular Dr. Gary Chapman The 5 languages ​​of loveDr. Winsberg’s book features five textual love languages: compliments, riffs (quick jokes), spoon feeding (sending an interesting read or meme, or small personal updates) , nooking (soft words, like “Xo” or sexting), and nudging (reminders that you’re thinking about them).

“I think it’s helpful for people to know how they like to communicate and be contacted,” says Dr. Winsberg. This way, partners are more likely to feel like their emotional needs are being met. If you can’t decipher each other’s preferences from your chat thread, have a chat. For example, you could say, “I’m not very good at chatting during the workday, but I love a good evening text session” or “I’d like a good night text.” Then meet your partner where they are. If he prefers compliments, keeping it real, or if he likes riffs, set aside five minutes when you’re both normally free and see if you can do them LOL.

3. Consider doing a self-diagnosis.

We can learn a lot by going back over our texts and watching how we interact with our partners. According to Dr. Winsberg, our texting history “can provide a sort of electronic health record” for our relationship. Recently, I read my text exchanges with my husband. His text “out of the Ziplock bags” probably didn’t count as a riff, nor did my “Are you coming?” could hardly be confused with sexting, given the context. In fact, I found little evidence that the two people communicating were even in love, unless you count the occasional red heart emoji.


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