• Woman taking photograph on phone

Dating rule number one: stay off Facebook

Nobody wants to be that couple. The ones at the restaurant who are more engrossed in their phones than they are each other, who spend more time telling their Facebook friends what an amazing time they're having than they do, well, having that amazing time.


But it would seem that there are now even more good reasons to switch off from technology when we're on dates. Quite apart from the obvious loss of social interaction that occurs when you're more caught up in liking and sharing via your smartphone than you are in the moment, scientists at Boston University say that social media simply isn't good for relationships. Facebook use in particular has been singled out as having "a positive, significant predictor of divorce rate and spousal troubles".

THE FINDINGS

  • Between 2008 and 2010 across 43 American states, a 20% rise in Facebook usage correlated with a greater than 2% rise in divorce rates.
  • During this period in Texas, 16% of non-social media users pondered the prospect of leaving their partners at some point. But among social media users, that figure was 32%.
  • While some say that access to Facebook makes it easier to cheat, the study’s authors suggested that people in troubled relationships are more likely to turn to social media—rather than to their partners— for emotional support.


Those commenting on the study also suggest that Facebook users are also influenced by “grass is greener” thinking, and put too much stock by comparing their own lives and relationships with those being presented by fellow users. 


Another study by the University of Copenhagen found that life satisfaction scores were greater in those who abstained from logging into Facebook (8.11 versus 7.74 out of 10).


And yet another report, compiled by Pitt’s Centre for Research On Media, Technology and Health, concluded that young people who frequently check in on social media are 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than lighter users. Quitting Facebook, even for a short time, had an even greater effect on those who report experiencing “Facebook envy”—feelings of jealousy and inferiority as a result of seeing other users’ pictures and posts.


Time for a introduce a little digital detox to your dating?


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Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.