Technology hurting relationships, raising depression and anxiety, USU study says

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LOGAN — A recent Utah State University study showed that too much technology can hurt our most important relationships while raising our levels of anxiety and depression.

Dr. David Schramm, an assistant professor and family life specialist, surveyed 631 parents across the United States between the ages of 22-60.

“I asked them about technology, especially in the bedroom, and on tables,” Schramm said. “I really wanted to get a better understanding of what parents think about how it’s influencing their parent-child relationship as well as the couple relationship.”

The study took a close look at how parents feel technology is affecting family and interpersonal relationships.

Of those surveyed, 88% said that interference from technology is a big problem in our society, while 62% said it’s a big problem in their family. Forty-five percent considered technology to be a big problem in their marriages.

“One of the key findings that we found, is the more technology is used in relationships, the higher levels of anxiety and actually depression are going up,” Schramm said.


Schramm’s study also tried to seek out some solutions to the problem, mainly in keeping technology out of two key areas.

“About 88% said yeah, let’s kick technology off of tables,” Schramm said of family mealtime. “About 75% said kick technology out of the bedroom, it’s interfering in that couple relationship and even parent-child relationship.”

Schramm said as we head into the holidays and time with extended family, we should focus on putting the phone down and being in the moment.

“Thanksgiving is coming up, right? Put away the tech and focus on the turkey,” Schramm said. “Be aware of when you’re on your phone, when you’re on a device or when your child is. Be aware of that. If there’s human interactions that it’s interrupting, then I think we need to re-think about how often, and where we’re using technology.”

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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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