Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of October.
We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.
Legitimate question; how many nights this week have you sat in bed plugged into your phone, instead of being plugged into your partner? Like that episode of Black Mirror (if you know, you know), answering this question honestly can leave most of us feeling pretty freaked out about how often we're actually having quality connections. Welcome to the modern phenomenon of Technoference.
Is it down to habit, short attention spans, or are we simply just that tech-obsessed? To find out why we're so readily available to jump on our phones rather than our partners bones, we spoke to Dr Nikki Goldstein, the resident relationship and dating expert over at SKYN Australia to learn more about how this new epidemic is not only affecting our happiness and our relationships, but also our ability to connect.
What Is Technoference?
Technoference is the interference in personal and intimate connections and communications due to the attention given to technology, mostly handheld devices.
How Can Technology In the Bedroom Affect the Quality of Our Sex Lives and Relationships?
The best way to look at this is to think about what would happen if you didn't have a laptop, your phone, or a TV in the bedroom. What would you be doing? You might be talking to each other, even being more physically intimate. It's a no brainier that these pieces of technology do interfere with our connections to each other. But I don't think enough people are stopping to consider just how much. The results from the SKYN 2019 Save Intimacy Survey revealed we spend 2 - 2.5 hours a day scrolling through social media, so it's fair to assume that a decent chunk of that must be while in the bed.
How Can People Break the Cycle of Technoference?
Many couples enjoy watching TV together in bed and some busy people have to check emails. So, if we can't quit technology alltogether, we have to find a balance. The survey also revealed that those who don't use social media are much happier than those who do. At the end of the day, it's proof that we need to consciously reduce our screen time when we're with our partners. This means reassessing what's important in your life, is your relationship a priority and do you want to save intimacy? If so, that should be the motivation you need to steer the love affair we have with our phones back to our partners by reducing the time we use technology.