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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Couples, the Internet and Social Media: Being distracted by the wired world

Social media has changed the daily lives of couples by:

  • How they stay in touch with others (and reconnect with people);
  • The way couples make friends, how they find acquaintances and how others find partners by connecting with people anywhere in the world;
  • How couples do business, how businesses connect to buyers and potential buyers;
  • How they reveal themselves and share information;
  • How couples allow their voice to be heard – to amplify a message; and
  • How they learn.

This technology also creates difficult situations for couples involving emotional intimacy and fidelity, including the ease of access to personal details, the ease at which private communication can take place and access to pornography. Facebook is increasing cited in divorce proceedings in both the US and UK.

Whilst most of the qualities that help sustain a good relationship have not changed – commitment, effective communication, constructive conflict and patience, honesty, forgiveness amongst others – there is strong evidence that couples are using these technologies to enhance their relationships. Both the opportunities and threats associated with the use of internet and mobile technologies including the stress associated with their use by couples must be understood and considered to ensure effective communication in all their life stages.

While younger adults in serious relationships are more likely than older couples to report that the internet has had an impact on their relationship, this impact can cut both ways. Many young couples view technology as a way to bring greater intimacy to their relationship, even as it introduces new sources of tension.

  • 45% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships say the internet has had an impact on their relationship – 21% say a major impact.
  • 42% of 18-29 year olds with a mobile phone in a serious relationship say their partner has been distracted by their phone while they were together.
  • 41% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships felt closer to their partner because of online or text conversations.

“Technology is everywhere and our relationships are no exception,” said Amanda Lenhart, lead author of the report and Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center. “And for younger adults and those in newer relationships, tools such as mobile phones and social media are there at the beginning and play a greater role today for good and for ill.”

Reference:

  • Cowley, D, 2017: Social Media Statistics Australia – April 2017: https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-april-2017/
  • Hampton, K.N., Rainie, L., Lu, W., Shin, I., & Purcell, K. (2014). “Social Media and the Cost of Caring.” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/15/social-media-and-stress/

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Couples, the Internet and Social Media: It’s not just millenials who are obsessed with technology

The accelerating rate at which new technology is introduced to the public has created a divide between how different generations prefer to communicate – and not just with their friends and family.

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1994 have penetrated the workforce, and their increases in income has resulted in $200 billion in annual buying power. This generation continues to grow at an alarming rate, becoming the biggest generation in the workforce for the first time in 2016. Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, may have been surpassed in numbers by millennials this year, but they still dominate the market with $2.3 trillion in spending power.

It’s no surprise that millennials are on multiple channels and devices simultaneously, but many may not be aware that boomers are much more tech savvy than you expect. 91% of boomers use one or more social media sites. For 58% of these social boomers, the top action taken after use a social networking site was to visit a company website.

We have seen how smartphones can enhance our lives, but there is a fine-greyline where use can be perceived as antisocial, cause arguments, and endanger those around us. We are all increasingly enthusiastic smartphone users and doing so across a growing range of social (and solo) situations. A third use their devices ‘always’ or ‘very often’ when spending time with friends, walking or watching TV. Almost a quarter of mobile consumers use their phones ‘always’ or ‘very often’ talking to friends and when eating at home, or eating out with family or friends. And a disturbing 1 in 10 of us use our smartphones when crossing the road or driving.

References:

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Couples, the Internet and Social Media: The phone is driving a wedge into our relationships

Smartphones have moved front and centre, across many of our relationships for better and in some cases, for worse. A recent study looked at the relationship between the presence of mobile devices and the quality of face-to-face catch-ups (Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016).

The results, not surprisingly, found that conversations in the absence of mobile devices were rated as significantly higher compared with when the individuals communicating had access to their mobile devices.

The debate is beginning to intensify in business and social settings as to what constitutes appropriate smartphone behaviour. The rules are not written and what one mobile consumer might think is appropriate, another might deem abhorrent.

When phones were first released the act of taking a call or even looking at your phone at a restaurant was a no-go zone, compared with today where the standard protocol is to take a photo of your dish, to post it online for your friends to join in your dining experience. It seems that as much as we love our smartphones, our adoring connection with them is creating distances and disharmony in many of our closest relationships.

Nearly a third of Australians admit to having had an argument about mobile phone usage with their partner and 1 in 5 do so at least monthly. If we are not careful our most favourite device could become our most divisive device.

Specifically, the survey found that a quarter of Australian 18-24 year olds noted that their excessive use of smartphones had caused disagreements with their partners. For 25-34 year-olds the proportion was even higher, at 36 per cent.

Reference:

  • Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016 http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… No screens at bedtime or during family time

According to a recent survey, we are fast becoming (if not already) an always-on mobile society. Our addiction to our favourite device and the apparent need to check regularly and respond instantly must be in response to our growing fear of missing out or perhaps our love of being always-on.

For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents to ensure good habits are learnt and distractions from mobile technology don’t impact negatively on their health and learning abilities.

Here are some tips:

2. No screens at bedtime or during family time.

You don’t have to confiscate their phones, you can get an app that can automatically block activity at a certain time or when a time limit is exceeded.

By installing a child control app on all devices that your children use, you can set various time limits for the Internet, PC or mobile device and even specific programs, apps and websites. some even shut the device down automatically, displaying a lock screen.

In your search browser, type ‘manage your kids screen time’. Use the app as a starting point for conversations about screen use, not as a replacement for them.

Reference:

Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016: http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Cyber bullying is most likely to occur behind a closed door

A recent study claims that there is anecdotal evidence of parents needing to lock away their children’s devices for fear of midnight video watching, texting, and gaming.

According to the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016 – we are fast becoming (if not already) an always-on mobile society. Our addiction to our favourite device and the apparent need to check regularly and respond instantly must be in response to our growing fear of missing out or perhaps our love of being always-on.

Here are some tips:

  1. No technology in the bedroom. The number one recommendation from experts in addressing cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is most likely to occur behind a closed door.

For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents to ensure good habits are learnt and distractions from mobile technology don’t impact negatively on their health and learning abilities.

Reference:

Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016: http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf