Richard G. Petty, MD

Cell Phones and Relationships

In a recent post I commented on the dangers of multi-tasking, and cited Linda Stone’s excellent term “Continuous Partial Attention.” A little over three weeks ago, Marianne Richmond wrote an excellent post on "Attention: Giving it and Getting It" that discusses, among many things, the role of attention in our relationships.

I have just come across a study that supports everything that we have been saying. It was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in December and examined cell phone usage over a two-year period in 1,367 couples from the Cornell Couples and Careers Study. Increased cell phone use was linked to increased distress and lower family satisfaction. Being constantly available blurs the boundaries between work and family time.

Be very careful that you are not becoming a slave to that device on your belt.

“The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling.” –Orison Swett Marden (American Writer and Founder of Success Magazine, 1850-1924)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.


2 Responses to “Cell Phones and Relationships”
  1. Marianne Richmond says:

    Great points in your post and the reference to a really interesting study. I would hazard a guess that since the usage data is self reported it could be very understated.

  2. Richard Petty says:

    You are absolutely correct: self-report studies almost invariably give underestimates, be it self-report of cell phone usage or calories consumed. Though in another post I commented about the way in which some respondents tend to inflate their accounts of some of their exploits!

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