Scientists at the Brigham Young University in Utah found that 70 per cent of women claimed that smartphones were getting in the way of their love lives.
Naming the phenomenon a ‘technoference’, researchers claim that screens are creating barriers between couples, particularly those who enjoy scanning their social media newsfeeds, email accounts or the internet in bed.
“You see it everywhere,” said Sarah Coyne, psychologist at Brigham Young University and an author of the study.
“Like at a restaurant where couples have their phones, both of them, on the table, right there. I think that is so easy for them to pick it up if it buzzes.”
Surveying 143 married or de-facto heterosexual women on their technology habits, participants claimed that it was computers that were interfering most with their lives, followed by mobile phones.
A quarter of the women admitted that their partner would actually send texts or emails to another person during a face-to-face conversation.
“With mobile phone technology emerging on the scene as quickly as it did, we all jumped into computer-mediated interactions without really thinking much about the implications,” said Michelle Drouin, developmental psychologist at Indiana University and Purdue University.
The results also showed that the ‘technoference’ led to poorer relationships and lower life satisfaction in general.
Experts advise couples to introduce technology ‘curfews’ and ‘switch off’ days.
Go here for our recent interview with former Facebook marketing executive Randi Zuckerberg and her tips on switching off from technology.