Relationships In The Digital Age: How Technology Affects Couples

April Flowers for – Your Universe Online

The internet, and especially social media, is having an impact on American couples as technology becomes more deeply integrated into people’s lives.

A new study published by Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals that couples are feeling both the positive and negative effects of digital communication tools in their relationships.

The researchers found that 27 percent of American adults online who are married or in committed relationships report that the internet has had an impact on their relationships. A majority report that the impact has been positive. However, in some relationships, technology has been seen as a negative source of distraction. For example, 25 percent of cell phone users in serious relationships report that the phone distracts their spouse or partner when they are alone together.

The data was collected from telephone interviews with 2,252 adults aged 18 and older, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May  19, 2013. The interviews — 1,125 by landline, 1,125 by cell phone, including 571 without landlines — were conducted in both English and Spanish.

Technology has changed the face of many relationships, affecting the way the couples communicate, grow closer, plan, fight and make up. The findings examine the role of technology in the lives of married or partnered adults, exploring both the positive and negative effects.

This is the second of two reports about the impact of technology — the internet, social media and mobile phones, specifically — on online dating and romantic relationships. The companion report focuses on the internet’s impact on meeting and dating, rather than couples.

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