What does romance look like today?
Imagine that you and your boyfriend have planned a romantic date night together. You are both sitting across from each other and staring deeply into your glaring phone screens. Your fingers are interlaced around the keys of your message boards, and you are both more interested in the latest updates on your Instagram newsfeeds than you are in each other.
A new Chinese study finds that obsessive phone use is a driving factor in tearing Chinese families apart, according to China Daily. The survey was conducted by the Chinese magazine Marriage and Family, an affiliate of the All-China Women’s Federation. According to the survey’s findings, nearly 73% of over 500 million Chinese smartphone owners do not turn their phones off during the course of the day.
The survey attracted over 13,000 respondents and found that nearly half of the couples were guilty of using their cell phones while spending quality time with their partners. On a whole, these couples were found to be less happy than those who opted to put their phones aside. In addition, 60% of couples who were married complained of feeling competition from an “electronic rival” in their relationship.
Wang Jun, a specialist at Beijing Weiqing Marriage Consultant, said,
“It is a mistake if people think being in the same room (playing with their separate devices) is the same as being together.”
It is apparent that compulsive cell phone use poses a direct threat to romantic relationships, but familial relationships are not out of the line of fire either. Over one-third of respondents who are parents admitted to using smartphone devices as a means to keep their children distracted or occupied when they are being too loud.
Referring to his grandson, who would rather spend time with his grandparents than his parents because they spend so much time on their cell phones, Ye Ziqing, a 67-year-old Beijing resident, said,
“My family is a victim of modern technology.”
Maybe now you will want to think twice before you check those notifications at dinner.