When it comes to relationship advice and technology, it seems we're always being told to ditch the phones, especially in the bedroom.
And whilst being bombarded with headlines like "Banning My Smartphone Made Me A Better Boyfriend" and "I Quit Technology And My Sex Life Exploded," one really has to wonder: Is limiting tech use actually the key to a healthy relationship today?
So don't worry too much, smartphone addicts. There's definitely a negative side to leaving your devices far away (aka on your kitchen counter) overnight.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of banning technology in the bedroom in order to help you decide which route is best for your relationship:
Is limiting tech use actually the key to a healthy relationship today?
1. It will help you to better focus on your partner.
You're laying beside your boyfriend with your phone lifted above your head, scrolling through the same Facebook posts you looked at an hour ago.
Meanwhile, your boyfriend's idly staring at the ceiling. “Could you put your phone away?” he asks. You shamefully put it off to the side. Keyword: shamefully.
Smartphone dependency definitely puts a toll on relationships. According to this study published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture, college students who are dependent on their smartphone reported being less certain about their partners, and their partners reported being less satisfied.
“I'm more likely to think my relationship is doomed the more I believe my partner needs that thing” said Matthew Lapierre, who co-authored the study, said to TIME. “It's not use; it's the psychological relationship to that device.”
On the contrary, keeping that thing out of the bedroom encourages you to spend more quality moments with your loved one.
Without social media feeds and text messages, there's more time to cuddle, talk about your days, listen to each other and just hang out with no expectations.
Plus, keeping your phone out of the bedroom means there's no chance for pings or incoming messages to interrupt your conversations, or worse, interrupt you in the heat of the moment.
2. You'll sleep better.
You've probably figured out that reading before bed, as opposed to watching TV, results in a better night's sleep. That's because the blue light emitted by screens actually suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that affects our sleep cycles.
So banning technology in the bedroom might enable you to engage in a more restful sleep with your partner. And obviously, that's a good thing.
Because other than feeling more rested in the morning, a better night's sleep can actually help improve your relationship.
According to this UC Berkeley study, having poor sleep habits might make you more highly prioritize your own needs, and leave your romantic partner feeling unappreciated.
3. You won't be tracking your partner's phone activity.
OK, OK, you might not be doing it intentionally, but it's pretty easy to allow your eyes to wander over to your partner's phone screen, especially when you're laying beside them.
And although they didn't mean to be hurtful, you might not feel great about what you see and be left overanalyzing why they messaged that guy, liked that photo, etc.
Keeping phones of out the bedroom will reduce this unintentional snooping, and keep those irrational jealous feelings away. Because no one needs any of that.
1. Say goodbye to guided meditation.
The bedroom should be about relaxation. It's the time to wind down, connect and be calm with your partner. And unless one of you is a serious yogi, you may very well turn to guided meditation apps (like Calm or Headspace) to reduce stress together.
But in banning technology in the bedroom, you'd have to say goodbye to it all.
It'd be a shame, too. Especially since meditation increases positive emotions, decreases stress and anxiety, makes you more compassionate, increases focus, and improves your memory. And better yet, it's said to improve your sex life.
2. You can't listen to audio books together.
While there's certainly value in reading paperback books hip to hip in a technology-free bedroom, it doesn't necessarily bring you closer to your loved one — you're still engaged in separate stories.
On the other hand, listening to audiobooks with your partner enables you to close your eyes, experience the story and disappear into another world together.
This way, you can talk about the book with each other — your favorite lines, characters and developments — before drifting off into a long, deep melatonin-filled sleep.
Sounds beautiful, doesn't it?
3. You can't watch porn in bed.
Watching porn can be a problem for a lot of couples, especially if one partner watches it alone or in secret. But incorporating porn-watching into your sexual relationship could be a way to strike arousal, get some new ideas or speak up about things you want to try in bed.
Although you don't necessarily need to watch it in the bedroom, things might get a little awkward if someone walks into the den. So best to leave the porn for your own quarters.
While there's certainly some pretty convincing reasons to ban technology in the bedroom, it's definitely not always the right thing to do.
Because well, it's 2016, people. And as long as we use technology the right way with our partners, it can help us to create really special memories with our loved ones, too.