Our love af­fair with smart­phones

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING -

WE ALL know how ver­sa­tile smart­phones can be. We can use them to make calls, surf the In­ter­net, keep track of our emails, re­ceive up­dates on the weather ... any­time, any­where. And when I say any­time, any­where, I re­ally mean any­time, any­where.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, it would ap­pear that about 9% of Amer­i­can adults use a smart­phone while hav­ing sex with their part­ner. And no, the lat­est smart­phones do not have an app that trans­forms them into a kinky sex toy.

Imag­ine, if you will, the fol­low­ing sce­nario:

A hus­band and wife are in bed, ly­ing on their side as they em­brace each other. The hus­band kisses his wife ten­derly on her neck, while look­ing at his phone, which, un­be­known to her, is be­ing held a few cen­time­tres be­hind her head.

She re­sponds with a lit­tle moan, but be­hind his back she is check­ing her Face­book ac­count.

The hus­band checks the weather fore­cast for an up­com­ing over­seas trip to the Mid­dle East. “Oh, it’s go­ing to get re­ally hot,” he says out loud.

“Oh, that’s nice,” she says, think­ing he is talk­ing about their love­mak­ing.

Feel­ing a lit­tle guilty, he nib­bles her ear.

“Oh, I like that,” says the wife, as she presses the “Like” but­ton on a cute pho­to­graph of a cat that one of her friends has posted on Face­book.

“I’m glad you do. What else do you like?” he says, as he looks at a stock mar­ket re­port.

“I have 45 dif­fer­ent likes,” she says, re­fer­ring to the num­ber of likes one of her Face­book posts has re­ceived.

“You have 45 dif­fer­ent sex­ual likes?” he says. “You never told me about this be­fore, you lit­tle sex fiend.”

“Oh, well, maybe that’s ex­ag­ger­at­ing a bit,” she says, fran­ti­cally try­ing to get out of a po­ten­tially awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion.

“Looks like things are re­ally heat­ing up now,” he says, re­fer­ring to his stock mar­ket shares.

The wife be­gins to feel ner­vous, be­cause the last thing she wants to do is ad­mit to her hus­band that her Face­book ac­count is more ap­peal­ing than his bed­time moves. “OK, I’ll tell you one thing I re­ally like, but only if you tell me one thing you re­ally like,” she says.

He con­tin­ues to study a share mar­ket re­port and sees that in­vest­ments in cer­tain min­ing sec­tors are on the rise. “Looks like min­er­als might be the way to go,” he says.

“Min­er­als?” she says, look­ing at the no­to­ri­ous on­line photo of Mi­ley Cyrus sit­ting on top of a wreck­ing ball. “What do min­er­als have to do with your sex­ual likes?”

“Did I say min­er­als?” he says, stalling for time. “I meant min­eral wa­ter.” “Min­eral wa­ter?” “Yes, I’d like to see you drenched in min­eral wa­ter while wear­ing noth­ing but a white T-shirt. What about you?”

“Do you think we could have a wreck­ing ball in the house?”

But he’s dis­tracted, yet again. “What sort of ball is that? Would I have to wear a tuxedo and hire cater­ers?”

Although the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple re­frain from us­ing their smart­phones while hav­ing sex with their part­ner, if the phone is even in the same room while they are shar­ing an in­ti­mate mo­ment, it can be just as dis­tract­ing.

For ex­am­ple, if the phone gives off some sort of an alarm (which can be any­thing from birds tweet­ing to the Wil­liam Tell Over­ture to the Chip­munks singing) to in­di­cate an in­com­ing mes­sage, that might be enough to break the fo­cus of an in­ti­mate ex­change. In­stead of con­cen­trat­ing on their part­ner, the phone owner will spend the rest of the interlude try­ing to guess who the sender of the mes­sage might be.

Of course, many cou­ples are so en­grossed in their smart­phones (as well as their note­books and iPads) in the bed­room that they don’t even ini­ti­ate in­ti­macy in the first place. They are so pre­oc­cu­pied with Face­book and Twit­ter and news up­dates and the next level of Candy Crush that they stare at their glow­ing screens un­til it’s way af­ter mid­night and much too late to in­ter­act with the liv­ing, breath­ing per­son ly­ing next to them.

Still, we must al­ways try to look on the bright side. Smart­phones are pos­si­bly help­ing to slow down the growth of our bur­geon­ing global pop­u­la­tion. If a coun­try has too many cit­i­zens and not enough re­sources to sup­port them, all they have to do is is­sue each per­son of re­pro­duc­tive age with a smart­phone.

Gov­ern­ments ev­ery­where could re­fer to it as the iCon­tra­cep­tive.

Check out Mary on Face­book at www.face­book.com/mary.schneider. writer. Reader re­sponse can be di­rected to star2@thes­tar.com.my.

a cou­ple tak­ing a ‘selfie’ us­ing a smart­phone. Smart­phones have many use­ful func­tions but can cause awk­ward mo­ments in the bed­room. — Filepic

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