22 Aug 2018

Smartphones affecting New Zealanders' relationships - survey

8:37 am on 22 August 2018

More than a third of New Zealanders are concerned their partners are spending too much time on their smartphone.

Filming the interviews meant the victims could focus on recounting what had happened, said Inspector Sarah Stewart.

Photo: 123RF

A 2degrees survey showed 39 percent of 2200 respondents aged older than 16 believed the amount of time being spent on their smartphones was affecting the quality of their relationship.

The survey also found more than half of New Zealanders choose their phone or computer if they have to deliver bad news, but 43 percent of respondents felt guilty about this.

Relationship expert Dr Anna Martin said some people would consider this rude and the problem with texting is that you do not get the full enriched experience.

"So when you send a text you're not getting to see the other person's non-verbal communication, so you're missing out seeing that person's hurt, or they're not seeing you say a full apology, so it leaves the other person feeling less validated."

Relationships between the grandparents and grandchildren are becoming more distant, with 49 percent of Kiwi grandparents saying they no longer know how to meaningfully connect with their grandchildren, and both parties say they would like to communicate more often with each other.

More than half of all respondents' main form of communication with their parents is via phone, text or messenger app but nearly one quarter of parents believe that smartphone communication is affecting their relationship with their children.

Dr Martin said there was an 'iPhone effect' when you were with someone who is on their smartphone.

"Even just the presence of an iPhone leaves the other person feeling less prioritised, so it's not helpful for any relationship to have that happening."

Dr Martin said these days we are connected 24/7 and often it is because of work. She said although it was important to recognise technology's importance it was also important to have technology-free rituals.

"Meal times, you know game nights with family, putting phones away for certain periods of times, curfew times, just recognising that we're always going to have the technology involved in our lives but make those rituals within families."