Two’s company, technology’s crowd, complain Indian couplesFebruary 11th, 2009 - 11:31 am ICT by IANS
“It’s so hard to find quality time for ourselves nowadays. Even if we go out for a quiet dinner, my husband’s phone never stops ringing. So we end up not having a good time and eventually fight,” said Maneka Singh, a 29-year-old housewife.
Many men and women complain of their partner’s pre-occupation with mobiles, laptops, MP3 players, iPods, videogame consoles and other hi-tech gizmos.
Indore-based Roshni Wadhwani, who has been married for nine years, says: “My husband checks the talk time on my mobile. We always fight when he questions me on why the balance amount is low because he has to refill it. It is very irritating.”
Aditya Kumar, 22, says his girlfriend nags him about his excessive use of the cell phone, laptop and Playstation.
“My girlfriend forever fights on these issues. ‘Who were you talking to?’ ‘Why couldn’t you call me instead?’ ‘Why are you on the laptop?’ ‘Don’t work on it while talking to me’ - these are just some of the statements I get to hear from her almost every day.
“At times she goes so crazy that she starts making comparisons between the laptop and herself and asks me who I love more. It’s insane,” Kumar rued.
According to leading psychiatrist Sanjay Chugh, a lot of couples approach him with similar problems.
“Many a time partners complain that the other person loves his or her laptop or cell phone more than him or her. Or that the technical equipment is his or her first love!” Chugh told IANS.
“They would feel unattended and unimportant as the partner is spending most of his or her time using the gadget. This becomes a source of distress for the other person leaving him or her to feel discontented and dissatisfied,” explained Chugh.
Even Samir Parikh, chief of the mental health and behavioural science department in Max Healthcare, agrees.
“Fights happen when one partner ends up substituting the personal or social time and it gets replaced with time used on technology, whether for work or for recreation,” Parikh told IANS.
Nikita Sharma, another housemaker, says she gets really upset when her husband can’t take out time for her, even during breakfast, as he gets busy attending official calls from 9 a.m.
“In the morning he gets calls and during the day he does not want me to call because he gets disturbed. By the time he comes back home he is either so tired and exhausted that he just wants to crash on the bed or turns to the computer to finish his pending projects.
“There is hardly any quality conversation between us,” she said.
Experts suggest that to resolve such technology-related relationship issues, partners must be able and willing to spend quality time with each other, share thoughts and feelings and also take regular breaks together.
“Making each other feel loved and cared for are essential ingredients that can keep couples strong enough to live through the rough phases of life - related or unrelated to technology,” said Chugh.
Parikh suggests that one give priority to personal time and also use technology to improve his or her relationship. “As long as it (technology) is utilised to the best in a relationship, it’s not a problem. So SMS your spouse the joke you would forward to a friend,” he quipped.
Earlier, when access to and use of technology was not so rampant, couples used to make each other feel special through frequent calls, personal greeting cards and letters too.
However, the trend is fast diminishing thanks to e-cards, e-mails and SMS, giving partners yet another reason to complain.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at Radhika.email@example.com)
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