Texting is officially disastrous to romantic and other relationship, a new study says. The study confirms a huge wealth of previous data that proves cell phone and other gadget overuse can cause a wide range of problems including damaged relationships, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of empathy, lowered cognitive ability, worse grades in school, lowered productivity at work and more. Recently, science has been proving and re-proving the detrimental effects of technology overuse, but unfortunately, say many health experts, the evidence often falls on deaf ears. Now, a new study has shown that both men and women who text too frequently risk disastrous consequences to their romantic partnerships. The study has been published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.
Study author Jonathan Sandberg says part of the reason why texting can interfere with the quality of someone’s relationship has to do with the lack of direct, authentic, real human interaction where people can look each other in the eye and hear each other’s voices. “Technology is more important to relationship formation than it was previously…Reaction to disappointment and reality testing occurs more quickly face to face,” he said, “There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see.” This disconnect, experts say, results in many misunderstandings and communication mix-ups, which can erode the foundation of a relationship and eventually lead to complete relationship failure.
The majority of people in the study were in long term relationships and the average age of the participants was 22. The study also found that when texting was used solely to express affection, it was associated with higher relationship satisfaction. However, since previous studies have shown that Americans use text messaging more than they communicate face to face, it seems safe to assume that texting is rarely or never used solely for expressing affection.
This new study, showing texting is disastrous for relationships, joins a rapidly growing body of research that confirms the detrimental effects of technology overuse. A recent study on social media found that Facebook usage causes depression while previous studies have found that social media use in general causes lower self-esteem, anxiety and a reduction in empathy.
In fact, empathy has decreased 40% in the last 30 years among college students, and some experts say it’s due to technology addiction. Within the last ten years, the myth of multitasking has taken root in our society, and most teens feel as though they are excellent “multitaskers.” However, neuroscientists, physicians and psychologists strongly disagree, as their research shows that 95-99% of people are totally incapable of multitasking effectively and that attempting to multitask drastically reduces productivity at work and lowers grades at school.
The myths that Silicon Valley puts forth are vibrantly alive in our culture, but experts in the brain and human behavior say technology addiction can have devastating consequences. Now, a new study has shown that texting can be disastrous to relationships. Whether or not this revelation will have any effect on people’s day to day habits is anyone’s guess. With the current trends the way they are, and the high potential these gadgets hold for extreme addiction, some experts feel that the answer is most likely no, this study won’t make a bit of difference in the amount of texting in which couples engage.
By: Rebecca Savastio