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Is Your Smartphone Ruining Your Relationship?

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 8/18/2011

So, not only are we addicted to our smartphones, our gadget addiction could now be affecting our relationships too. If you continually tweet rather than speak, or check your work emails while out with your other half, then the consequences might be bigger than you realize.

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    He-mail, She-mail

    It's no secret that we love our smartphones, their beauty and portable nature have made them way more than phones -- they are status symbols, talking points, portable offices, and multimedia centers. They also take up less and less space to carry around, and are getting lighter by the release. It shouldn't be a surprise then, that slipping your phone out of your pocket and hitting that "email" button is just so darn irresistible when you are out and about. You just think you are being a dedicated worker, but it's highly likely that your partner is sitting on the opposite side of the restaurant table or in the theater seat next to you looking particularly ticked off.

    And if you're a male, the evidence is stacking up against you further. A recent study by YouGov claimed that 37 percent of female partners got annoyed with their boyfriends or husbands checking work emails in leisure time, compared to 28 percent the other way around. Still a pretty high percentage either way you look at it -- but is it really such a bad thing?

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    It's For Work!

    Perhaps you do spend a lot of time gazing at your phone rather into your partner's eyes, or maybe it's that women are less trusting and think their men are up to something more than work -- perhaps you've given them reason to think this way. Or maybe everyone should chill out a bit and examine the facts. Honestly it doesn't bother me one little bit if my other half emails, texts or tweets the night away, although this could be because I do it too.

    The fact of the matter is that if your partner is checking work emails at weekends or on holidays there is one important thing to remember -- this means they have a job. It means they care about their job. Likely that job helps to pay the mortgage and bills you both have together so maybe, just maybe you shouldn't think it's really that big a deal. If they start installing secrecy apps to cover their texting or IM habits then you may start to question their behavior, but work emails? Relax.

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    My Name's Wendy and I'm a Smartphone-aholic

    An Ofcom study into smartphone usage recently revealed that 37 percent of adults and 60 percent of teens confessed to being "addicted" to their smartphone. With a third of adults owning a smartphone, and almost 50 percent of them using their smartphones to regularly check emails, you can get a pretty good picture of the state of our relationships!

    It's true that I too have a smartphone addiction. Even though I might plan to just look for some new apps, update my Facebook status, or change my live wallpaper I am also highly likely to hit that email button while I'm there -- just in case. So it's no wonder that the more amazing our smartphones get, the less distinct the lines between work and home become -- and just maybe this could become a problem.

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    When Text and Email Collide

    The issue here is perhaps not so much the checking of work emails, but just because having your face buried in your phone is a bit unsociable. How do those around you know that you are checking emails. For all they know you might be playing a game, complaining about them on Facebook, or sending dirty texts to your mistress. With Facebook being the most visited website from a handheld device you could forgive those people around you for being suspicious too.

    Text messaging addiction is prevalent in a much wider field than just that of the smartphone, so I'm certain that checking work emails out of hours isn't the problem at all. Likely your relationship is affected by you spending more time gently caressing the curves of your beloved phone than you do in caressing your partner's shapely form. Gadget jealousy is a dangerous emotion!

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    Friend or Foe

    jenna Rather than hinder our relationships, I actually think that smartphones have helped improved them in quite a few ways. In fact Cambridge University even came to the conclusion that using the aforementioned Facebook is actually making us more sociable.

    Who hasn't had a discussion with a stranger about their choice of smartphone or latest app download -- it gives us a topic to openly discuss rather than remain silent, or resorting to discussing the weather. In fact it could be a great ice-breaker for singletons looking to find love and start a relationship -- just make sure you know what smartphone personality they have first!

    Smartphones are a force for good in our relationships although only in the right hands. A saucy text or phone pic sent to your loved one is a great way to keep the flames of passion burning, although I'm aware of certain infamous incidents of adulterers using them for evil. This is perhaps the real crux of the issue. It's not the state of your text messaging or smartphone addiction that is in question, but the state of your relationship with your partner in the first place.

    Are smartphones wrecking our relationships then? NO -- they are just making them better!

    What do you think? Have smartphones turned us into unsociable creatures with the power to wreck relationships? Or, do you think smartphones help bring us closer together and can be used to enhance a relationship? Let us know.