Is Cell Phone Use Harming Your Relationships?

Is Cell Phone Use Harming Your Relationships?

By Kara Ferreira

A recent Psychology Today article considered the use of cell phones and how they can get in the way of social connection.

Cell phone use is not always detrimental to relationships, but it can be if it is perceived as dismissive and when it disrupts conversation and other forms of communication.

While parents may be prone to seeing their kids and teens as being on their phones too much, research shows that adults and teens both experience difficulty prioritizing personal interactions over cell phone use.

Technoference or “using technology to withdraw from interaction” can be a real problem!

Here are some ways to combat it:

  • Set expectations within your relationships for how cell phones and screen time should be used. For some couples, spending some time mutually scrolling on social media can be OK. For others, the cell phone use can become problematic. Set expectations
  • Establish cell phone-free zones. This can be especially helpful for kids and teens. Let them know when it is appropriate to be on their phones and when you expect them to be put away.
  • Utilize features like iPhone’s “screen time report” to keep yourself honest about how much you are using your cell phone. You may not realize the amount of hours that you spend in front of your device. Using the reporting feature can help you to monitor progress in using your phone less!

If you find that you need additional support to make changes to your personal cell phone use or setting expectations within your family, we’re here to help! If you’d like to explore working with a therapist, contact us at (734) 323-4897 or for more information. Our practice, based in Novi, Michigan, is home to a team of psychologists with a wide range of expertise. We also offer teletherapy and can see anyone in the state of Michigan.

Kara is a G3 Contributing Writer.