Love in the Time of Algorithms

Your Cell Phone is Destroying Your Relationships

This just in!
photo 1 Your Cell Phone is Destroying Your Relationships

Appily ever-after. (Photo: Pair)

If you thought all that texting and thumbkissing was bringing you closer to your S.O., think again. According to a study out of the University of Essex, the mere presence of a cell phone in your general vicinity is enough to serve as an emotional cockblock.

Writes Scientific American:

Thus, interacting in a neutral environment, without a cell phone nearby, seems to help foster closeness, connectedness, interpersonal trust, and perceptions of empathy — the building-blocks of relationships…. The new research suggests that cell phones may serve as a reminder of the wider network to which we could connect, inhibiting our ability to connect with the people right next to us.  Cell phone usage may even reduce our social consciousness.

We like to think that constant digital connectedness can help foster a sense of closeness, but turns out that might not be the case. Just because you’re sending heart emoticons over gChat doesn’t mean you’re really bonding.

Perhaps coupling apps have it all wrong: instead of building an app for couples to use to communicate with each other, perhaps we should be building ones that keep them from communicating with others.

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