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Why failing to ditch your device could get you dumped

TECHNOLOGY: Mobile devices have the potential to damage relationships, according to new research

NEW RESEARCH into couples and technology has revealed that 55 per cent have argued about excessive use of mobile devices.

With the pervasive presence of laptops, smartphones and tablets in today’s digital world, many people depend on devices to stay connected to friends and family. But new research by Kapersky Lab, the cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, suggests they could be doing more harm than good to romantic relationships.

Principal security researcher David Emm at Kaspersky Lab says: “In a modern relationship, devices play a big part of keeping a couple constantly connected, enabling them to build their relationship even when they are apart. However, this intrinsic link with technology has opened the gates to some potential issues.”

According to the Kaspersky Lab study, online messaging services are often used to strengthen a couple’s relationship. It revealed that when apart, 8-in-10 people stay in touch with their partner online.

Furthermore, 62 per cent of people agree that communicating through devices and the internet helps them feel closer to their partner, especially if they date but don’t live together (75 per cent).

The findings reveal that digital devotion really does come with its pros. Fifty-three per cent of people say their relationship has improved since they have shared digital tools such as accounts. But with the positive, comes the negative and there appears to be a lot of it.

The study found that device usage can lead to a range of arguments between loved ones, from unwanted overuse to cyber security incidents.

Fifty-one per cent of couples surveyed reported that they miss the personal connection when a device comes in the way of a meal or face-to-face conversation.

More than half of us (55 per cent) admit arguments have been caused with partners due to too much time being spent on a device. This is higher (58 per cent) for couples that live together, compared to 49 per cent for those who are dating but live separately.

However, excessive device usage isn’t the only thing that can escalate a quarrel. Arguments have sparked through access to the device as a quarter of couples have argued about whose turn it is. Forgetting to charge devices, losing them and allowing them to get infected with malware can also cause couples to bicker.

Emm says: "If both individuals make a conscious effort to secure their digital lives - including devices, accounts and online activities, couples can enjoy the benefits of the digital word without any negative implications.”

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