Scientists Say We Are Suffering from Technoference
Imagine this, you’re riding in the car on the way to dinner with your better half. Why not whip out your smart phone and see what’s happened in the world during the last five minutes since you checked. I mean, you two can reconnect later at the restaurant, right? This is called “technoference” and it’s when electronic devices lead to diminished relationship satisfaction. The cell phone is quickly becoming the “other person” in your relationship.
At a neighborhood book signing, this topic came up, and turns out, it’s not just the millennials who are afflicted, a smartphone owner at any age can be at risk.
“Blame it on the millennials. That’s all you people do. Blame it on the media, blame it on the alcohol, blame it on the drugs, or blame it on the lousy, no good, ex-husband who wanted to find himself,” said a random man hanging out near the book signing.
According to scientists, this creates a double whammy in the romance department because intrusion from the outside and exclusion of your partner can occur via phone attention, creating a propensity for doubt. Like the French philosopher Paul Virilio said, “When you invent the ship you also invent the shipwreck.”
“Truer words have never been spoken,” said a man purchasing six books. “We must not forget those who live by computers, die by computers. Not to mention a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and you can’t reinvent the wheel.”
Thank goodness for the new book called: Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other by MIT psychologist, Sherry Turkle.
“This title just spoke to me,” said a woman with three unruly kids. “I didn’t even have to buy the book to get what it’s about. I’m going home right now to start communicating with my husband using this very title. And he’s going to listen to me this time.”
The realities of technoference for some are more grim. The mere presence of the phone on the dinner table, even if not being used, can degrade private conversations. The consequence of this is partners are less willing to talk and divulge deep feelings, missing an opportunity for real intimacy.
“Awesome,” said a passerby who didn’t even know about the book signing. “The last thing I want to do is talk about deep feelings. Good to know that simply keeping my phone out at all times will hinder this.”