Far out Friday: Could the ‘always-on’ economy be ruining your love life?

Far out Friday: Could the ‘always-on’ economy be ruining your love life?

Far out Friday: Could the ‘always-on’ economy be ruining your love life?

Ah, l’amour. We spend so much time chasing it, then when we have it we never spend enough time cultivating it. The latest trend preventing Cupid’s arrow from flying true is the increasing prevalence of computing equipment in the boudoir.  

A recent survey by online mattress retailer Ergoflex has revealed that 22% of respondents take their laptop to bed and a further 80% kept their phone by their bed.

Sure, in the globalised economy with clients expecting over-and-above service at all hours across multiple time zones we all need to be a little bit flexible – but is taking the laptop to bed a step too far?

Being fixated on your glowing screens can also drive a wedge between you and your nearest and dearest. The UK’s Daily Mail reports that Facebook is cited in one in five divorces, according to lawyers, while a survey by website Divorce Online found that the phrase ‘mobile phone’ occurred in one in eight divorces citing unreasonable behaviour.

Christine Northam, a counsellor with UK charity Relate, warned the obsession with technology could lead to relationship problems.

'We need to make time for talking face-to-face. When you’re in bed it’s the perfect time to turn off the tech and tune into your relationship.'

If the risk of being turfed out of the family home isn’t enough for you workaholics to put down the smartphone, then the list of physical side effects recited by Michele Grow, chief executive of employee assistance program provider Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, should put you off.

She told the Sydney Morning Herald that working in bed can make you less productive, due to lack of sleep leading to reduced memory, impaired judgment, slower response times, reduced awareness and poor productivity.

"The bedroom is a place for intimacy and sleep – not laptops, smartphones and anything with a shiny screen," she said. "All you're doing is turning into a rat on the treadmill."

So, if you’re reading this in the bedroom right now, we recommend that you should close the laptop, put down the iPad or place the smartphone on the other side of the room – otherwise, you could become one of the 76% of insurance professionals engaging in an office romance.