By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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I learned a new term this week: Phubbing. According to Baylor University, it means “partner phone snubbing,” or when incessant cell-phone checking damages romantic relationships.
I also read about a study done by Lauren Reed, et al from the University of Michigan that found that insecure teens use texts and social media to harass and threaten their partner. This brings about a cycle of increasing anxiety: wondering what the partner is up to, then being reassured, until the cycle begins again. Reed also notes that social media can add to relationship quality and closeness.
On the other hand, research from Catalina Toma, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that even couples who live close to one another rely heavily on mobile media to manage their dating relationships. And that can be a good thing, Toma says. “There’s a sense of maintaining an emotional connection and that your partner is psychologically close,” Toma says. “It might seem trivial, but it’s really relationship maintenance.”
I think we’re going to see a lot of conflicting data on these topics for quite some time.
The real question is how does it work for you and your beloved? What brings you closer? What’s over the line?
Do you check each others’ phones? If so, how come? If not, how come?
How often do you touch base during the day by text? By phone? Are those touch-ins for connection, or for control (e.g., to make sure your spouse remembers to pick up the kids when he said he would vs. trusting him to just take care of it?)
There is no right answer. There is only your answer for your relationship.
If it’s working, great. If not, address it before it becomes a huge relationship issue.