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Electronic dependence hurting human relationships

One survey finds 60 percent of smartphone users can't go an hour without checking their devices. Some experts say dependence on electronic devices is hurting human relationships.
Mary Richards, KSL Modified: May 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm •  Published: May 13, 2014

A recent survey found 60 percent U.S. smartphone users don't go more than hour without checking their gadgets, while some studies are now pointing toward the ramification that these devices are hurting our relationships.

“Humans are wired for direct connection with each other," said Julie Hanks, director of Wasatch Family Therapy.

Hanks says texting and scrolling must not get in the way of that.

“We need touch and face-to-face communication," she said. "That needs to take priority.”

But smartphone users start feeling really guilty, Hanks stresses that technology isn’t bad — it’s change.

“Don’t make assumptions that it’s just mindless distraction," Hanks said. "It can be really valuable.”

Hanks says people can strengthen their human relationships by having tech-free zones

“For my family, the table is a tech-free zone," she said. "When we are eating meals, we don’t have our devices.”

And she says make the people in the room more important than your devices.

“Be where your feet are. Be with the people you are with at that moment," she said. "That’s what we need for emotional and relationship health.”


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