Want To Perk Up Your Love Life? Put Away That Smartphone : Shots - Health News Sure, you just wanted to take a peek at Facebook. But that can chill a relationship, especially if you and your love aren't on the same page about when it's OK to use technology.
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Want To Perk Up Your Love Life? Put Away That Smartphone

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Want To Perk Up Your Love Life? Put Away That Smartphone

Want To Perk Up Your Love Life? Put Away That Smartphone

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/368213774/370878867" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to another kind of questionable behavior in social situations - Alison Bruzek tells us about an annoying phenomenon called technoference.

ALISON BRUZEK, BYLINE: Picture this - you're on a great date at a nice restaurant, but then your dinner date pulls out his phone. It's not unusual, says media researcher Sarah Coyne.

SARAH COYNE: And you'll see some couples who are more interested in their smartphone, or other technological device, than talking to each other.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "GET OFF THE PHONE")

RHETT: Hey, man.

BRUZEK: There's a reason this YouTube video, "Get Off The Phone," has over four-and-a-half million views.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "GET OFF THE PHONE")

RHETT AND LINK: Notice this unreasonably attractive couple enjoying a reasonably-priced Italian dinner together - social networking instead of working on getting to know each other better.

BRUZEK: Coyne calls this technoference.

COYNE: Technoference is when technology interferes with your personal relationships.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "GET OFF THE PHONE")

RHETT AND LINK: Get off the phone now. It's going to be OK. There's no need to be afraid.

BRUZEK: It may seem harmless to check a few Instagrams during dinner, but it's a bad move for both your relationship and your overall happiness. Coyne surveyed 143 women and 70 percent said smartphones were interfering in their love life, and it wasn't just the phones. They found TVs, tablets and computers all contributed to partners feeling left out.

COYNE: Uniformly, it seemed to be a negative thing for both relationships and for mental health.

BRUZEK: She even catches herself doing it.

COYNE: When me and my husband, Paul, are together, we'll call each other out. We'll say hey, technoference if somebody's, right, on their cellphone when we should be talking.

BRUZEK: But you can avoid it by making a plan.

COYNE: Both of our cellphones are going to be out of sight and the ringer's going to be off when we're together. And, you know, we can check it once or twice, but only to see if the babysitter has texted or something like that.

BRUZEK: So pocket that phone and look your loved one in the eye. Your health and your girlfriend will thank you. I'm Alison Bruzek for NPR News.

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