Love in the Time of Caller ID: Understanding the Role of Smartphone Technology in Committed Relationships
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Smartphones have changed the way our world works, and have had particularly unique impacts on the way human relationships function. Among the most important of those relationships are the ones that people form by choice through their romantic involvements. Love, relationships, and the pursuit of them both are deeply emphasized as life goals in cultures and societies, the world over. Despite the significance of these bonds, as well as the growing integration of smartphone technology into our daily lives, minimal qualitative research exists about the substantive intersection of these modern devices and committed romantic relationships. Based on an analysis of data collected through in-depth individual interviews with fifty-six participants, comprising twenty-three couples, an updated theoretical framework that bridges Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love (1986) and the core concepts of connection, communication, control, and constancy is proposed. Relying on the narratives provided by the participants of this study as evidence, it is clear to see that the social context in which committed relationships now exist, has been transformed by the use and integration of smartphones into people’s everyday experiences. Smartphones have altered the way committed relationships start, the ways in which people operate within them, and even the deeper meanings people associate with their own and others’ identities, among so many other social processes. These modern mobile communication devices, in giving people a source of connection, a channel of communication, a method of control, and an element of constancy have had qualitative implications on the daily experiences of people in committed relationships specifically, and in society more generally.
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Noorin Manji (2018). Love in the Time of Caller ID: Understanding the Role of Smartphone Technology in Committed Relationships. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13646