Texting overload is bad for relationships, a new study shows. The title of the study is "Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults." It was published in Volume 12, Issue 4 of the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy: Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions.
The study on the effect of technology in romantic relationships was authored by Brigham Young University (BYU) researchers Lori Cluff Schade and Jonathan Sandberg. BYU professors Sarah Coyne, Dean Busby and Roy Bean co-authored the research paper.
According to the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, the researchers asked 276 people aged 18-25 years old who were in committed relationships (in a serious relationship, engaged or married) to answer a RELATionship Evaluation Questionnaire (RELATE) from The RELATE Institute. The participants were asked about how they use technology to connect with their partners.
The results of the study show that:
- Attachment behaviors were generally associated with relationship stability and satisfaction for both men and women
- There were no significant associations found with social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+
- Women who texted frequently were positively associated with their own relationship stability scores
- Men who engage in frequent texting had lower relationship satisfaction and stability.
- Men who use texting to fight or deliberately hurt their partners diminished their attachment to their partners
- Men and women who use texting to express affection reportedly had higher partner attachment which ultimately enhances their relationship
Lori Cluff Schade, one of the authors of the study, commented on technology and texting between couples.
"Technology is more important to relationship formation than it was previously," said Schade in the BYU report.
"The way couples text is having an effect on the relationship as well."
Meanwhile, Schade's co-author Sandberg believes that communicating face to face is better than texting because the reaction occurs faster and couples do not have the veil of technology to hide their true feelings.
"Reaction to disappointment and reality testing occurs more quickly face to face," Sandberg told BYU.
"There is a narrowness with texting and you don't get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see," he added.
"We're wondering if this means men disconnect and replace in-person conversations with more texting," Schade said.
The study on "Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults," is very helpful for couples who are too dependent on texting, chatting online, emailing and using Facebook or Twitter to connect with each other. While technological advances have allowed more people around the world to be connected 24/7, actually spending time with each other and talking face to face is more important. The communication and reaction of each individual is instantaneous and the bond is more lasting because of shared personal and actual experiences.
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