A study released by global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, has revealed that 50% of couples have argued about device overuse. The surveyed people admitted that it had a long lasting impact in relationships. The Daily Vox spoke to a few people to find out what impact they think overuse of devices such as mobile phones and computers has in relationships.
Thabiso Goba, 24, student, Pinetown
Itâ€™s only convenient and respectful for one to keep their devices away when they are in the company of others. Iâ€™ve once found myself in a case where I had to hide a text message from my girlfriend because it was personal, but if I had just put my phone away, I wouldnâ€™t have had to go through all that. It started looking suspicious as though I was getting private messages from some girl, whereas it was not really private but personal instead. It was a situation that could have been easily avoided if I respected her presence enough to put my phone away. But for those whose jobs and other necessary commitments demand them to check their phones constantly, they would have to discuss it with their partners and have some sort of an understanding. Iâ€™m sure people are reasonable enough out there.
The study showed that 55% of couples have argued over the overuse of devices, which were originally intended to help bring them closer together. Even though the study showed positive use of devices between couples, the study also that showed 51% of couples have argued about using devices during a meal or face-to-face conversation, while 55% have argued with their partners due to too much time spent on using devices.
Nqobile Maphalala, 25, student, Waterfall
Itâ€™s not easy to monitor people when it comes to device usage, especially a mobile phone. There are people whose jobs demand them to be on the phone almost all the time, such as Uber drivers who even have private clients. However, there comes a time where one has to acknowledge the presence of their partner and has to pay attention to them, even if itâ€™s just a couple of minutes. In the case of mobile phones, they have taken complete control of our lives and itâ€™s the very first thing that we check even when we wake up in the morning. And itâ€™s not only in relationships that people have to be mindful of how they use their phones, but even in friendships.
Sanelisiwe Nhlangulela, 21, student, Berea
Devices help us to connect with the outside world. In my case, a cell phone allows me to learn and get to familiarise myself with other important things. I could be with my partner at a certain time and they do something or behave in a certain manner that I donâ€™t understand, thatâ€™s when Iâ€™ll go straight to Google and start looking for information. But at the same time, itâ€™s a distraction that breaks off many relationships because the moment one party starts being glued to their phones, the more the other one loses interest. Also, itâ€™s just mutual respect between two people to put any devices away while in company of each other, especially a couple unless they are using that device together at that particular time.
Silindile Ngidi, 19, student, Ntuzuma
As much as devices have become a huge part of our lives, they are always creating a rift between us as human beings. For people in a relationship, overuse of devices breaks the bond thatâ€™s supposed to exist between two people who are in love. Obviously when youâ€™re with your partner and they start using their cell phone or a computer constantly, it becomes problematic and raises many questions. I have had an incident where my partner had to complain about how much time I spend on my phone, and I couldnâ€™t blame him because I know myself and Iâ€™m aware that I am addicted to my phone. It is not a good thing at all and people need to learn to control themselves when it comes to how they use their devices.
Nobuhle Welkom, 22, student, Bellair
People can end up being unfaithful to their partners when they let their devices control them. Itâ€™s unfair when youâ€™re spending time with your partner but they are busy scrolling through their phones. Itâ€™s only fair to both parties that whenever they are together, devices get out of the way, especially cell phones. In this day and age peopleâ€™s lives are controlled by gadgets and social media and thatâ€™s how human interactions and relationships are dying now.