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SCMP Article: Sex or your phone – which would you rather go without?

Couples often report feelings of relationship dissatisfaction, depression and attachment anxiety when technology interferes with intimacy. For those who chose the former, Dr. Quratulain Zaidi shares that making online time a joint experience instead – by watching YouTube or playing online games together – can strengthen a relationship.

Smartphone Addiction V.S Relationships

When faced with the question of “Sex or your phone – which would you rather go without?”, many choose to keep their phones. This tendency to choose the virtual world over physical intimacy can have hugely detrimental impacts on relationships. “In my practice, couples often report general feelings of relationship dissatisfaction, depression and attachment anxiety,” says Dr. Zaidi. “They feel deprioritised and claim that there are fewer face-to-face interactions with one another.”

“For as much good as technology can do, it should never become so powerful in someone’s life that they are psychologically dependent on it. This has a similar impact on a relationship as any other type of addiction.”

Turning things around

In order to fix this problem, Dr. Zaidi suggests using technology to enhance relationships: “Make online time a joint experience instead. Watch Youtube or play online games together so that the focus is on sharing and fostering connections.”

Even better, curb your screentime and spend face-to-face quality time with your significant other. Set limits on your phone usage and, if necessary, don’t be afraid to seek help. “So turn your phone off. The virtual world will still be there when you pick up the phone again.”

Read the full SCMP article here.

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