#13: Where Is The Love?

How to hack heartbreak

Hi there!

I’m in the midst of a UX Design course, so today’s piece might be a sign of things to come.

AKA - shorter posts!

Amidst the brevity, I’ll continue to hit-and-hope for an insightful and enjoyable newsletter, but only you can be the judge of that.

Feel free to let me know what you think - good, bad or indifferent, your feedback is extremely helpful.

This newsletter has become a real labour of love, so thank you for keeping me motivated and inspired.

And if you’re in the mood for sharing, this button might tickle your fancy.


Otherwise, here’s today’s post.

Reading time 1-2 minutes

“We expect more from technology and less from each other.”

Prof. Sue Johnson - clinical psychologist and author

Since starting this blog over three months ago, I've zeroed in on many of screen tech's shortcomings. I've argued it causes social isolation, limits critical thinking, shrinks our attention spans, and creates polarisation, anxiety, addiction and distrust (among others).

But after stumbling into a shelf-load of heart-shaped chocolate boxes in the supermarket the other day (yes, I was distracted by my phone), I realised, there’s one issue I’ve neglected. And, as we edge closer to that auspicious occasion known as St. Valentine’s Day, now’s the time to address it.

Screen technology kills romantic intimacy.

Here’s how it typically plays out for me:

I love my wife dearly. She’s my best friend and rock. But I also value my smartphone. It’s part of me - protecting my memories, while providing wonderful opportunities for downtime.

The trouble with this pairing however, is phones and partners don't make good bedfellows. 

So here’s my compromise, in the form of a Valentine's Day card for my wife.

What the pPhubb?

And it seems, I’m not the only one.

One 2016 study revealed 46% of men and women regularly felt pPhubbed (aka partner phone snubbed).

Another 2016 study disclosed 70% of women believed smartphones were negatively affecting their relationship with their partner, complaining their “significant other” was constantly distracted.

So what can we do?

Instead of making patronising Valentine’s Day cards, we could try the following:

  1. Create screen-free zones at home

    This makes it easier to gaze longingly into your partner’s eyes.

  2. Keep phones off the table

    Get out of the habit of treating your phone like a place setting, alongside your knife and fork. It implicitly signals, present company is not that important.

  3. Practice phone etiquette

    If you must look at your phone, communicate this fact with your partner. If nothing else, it's courteous and respectful. It’ll also make you more aware of your bad habits.

  4. A last resort

    And finally, if none of this works, END THE RELATIONSHIP IMMEDIATELY, and resume scrolling your news feed. 

    Your scrollmate is out there!

Happy St. Valentine's Day!