Friday 19 December 2014

Status update: I am in love with my mobile phone

woman listening to music outside by smart phone
woman listening to music outside by smart phone
Chrissie Russell checks her emails before she even gets out of bed. Photo: Ronan Lang
Chrisse Russell's husband on his phone on their wedding day

One-fifth of relationships now start online, but for established couples, tweeting, texting and social networking are a minefield.

 

Five signs you're hooked on your phone

1 You text your partner from an adjacent room rather than get up to talk to them

2 The only way you express sentiments of love and affection is via Twitter or Facebook where your declaration "Thanks wifey for breakfast in bed - you're the best" is shared with 1,500 followers.

3 You're so busy trying to find the video function on your mobile that you miss your boyfriend getting down on one knee to propose.

4 No romantic date is complete without checking in on FourSquare, popping a photo up on Instagram and tweeting the restaurant to tell them you loved their triple fried fries.

5 You tell your partner you'll 'call them back' when they're standing right in front of you.

 

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The other day, my husband woke up beside me bleary eyed and the first thing I said to him was: "What is Flappy Bird?" Still half asleep, he looked at me quizzically, no doubt wondering if I was talking in code or had lost my mind.

 

"Ah, it's a game," I mumbled, more to myself than my bewildered husband, and resumed scrolling through my Twitter feed.

I'm far from alone. A study recently found that 80pc of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up, but mine isn't just a morning addiction. In the evening, my favourite past-time is watching TV, one eye fixed on the box, the other on my mobile as I chortle along to the witty Twitter commentary from faceless others watching the same show. About two feet away sits my husband, his eyes cast downwards to his own iPhone.

We're as bad as each other, and both laughed when we saw the Valentine's Day card doing the rounds that reads: "There is nobody else I'd rather lie in bed and look at my phone next to." But I have to wonder, is our absorption in our own little tech worlds potentially harming our relationship?

There have undoubtedly been plenty of positives to the arrival of new technologies and the impact they've had on relationships. For many, myself included, Facebook is a vital cog in maintaining relationships with friends who live overseas and WhatsApp and Skype keep me in frequent, cost-efficient contact with my mum. In romantic relationships, the advent of dating websites and easily accessible apps has offered an important alternative means of meeting people for those tired of trying to find love in pubs and bars – some 20pc of relationships now start online.

Irish Independent

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