4 signs you should be wary of a relationship gone digital

Written by By Sophie McNeill, CNN Hong Kong

For many long-term relationships, smartphone use is an inevitable component — and open invitation — to an affair.

When we use technology to work or play, it should be our primary concern. Even though smart phones are often associated with convenience, as technological innovations progress we are getting closer to having our own “human-machine interface.”

Although we don’t know for sure if our loved ones are truly in love, we can make a few simple decisions that will help us evaluate whether they are worth trusting.

1. The device’s charging routine

If your relationship is one that’s absent of routine, it can be difficult to trust.

During a weeklong affair with my mistress, she was an infrequent charging of my phone.

Even if I paid her regular visits, I could see there were fewer sporadic cord connections. I believe that one of the biggest signs that a relationship has gone stale and unfulfilling is when there are no frequent phone calls to signal serious dates to your lover.

2. Phone bill errors

I once spent an entire week with a new boyfriend who came home drunk one night and promptly ignored my calls.

I would call him throughout the day, but he rarely showed up to respond. Inevitably, it became embarrassing to find that I’d given him a call and he hadn’t picked up. I never heard from him again.

Having done a year-long stint as a volunteer with a nonprofit program to help Kenyan street children, I was interested in what the operating terms of their phones were.

Initially, the children referred to it as “hawking.” Later, they told me that they converted its function to a version for thieves. In other words, they asked for it.

It may seem bizarre and extreme, but it would seem like us knowing our friend is working on the internet and then him calling you while surfing netrootschrismails.org to troll for a rumoured romance online could be hard to swallow.

3. Over-the-phone conversations

When two people spend a long week together on a regular basis, it’s likely that there are key moments when they’re chatting away in a sentence we all interpret as a sign that they’re in love.

But what if they are actually corresponding about work or planning a night out?

4. Phone break downs

This is another indicator that someone is growing tired of the relationship, or that their partner doesn’t actually care.

Sometimes, cheating partners have rushed to buy a new phone on the go, despite the fact that they are clearly still addicted to the old phone. Their cell phone could be a clear indication that there is no trust left in the relationship.

People are left to choose between these different choices. I believe we can all avoid embarrassment and damage to our own personal and professional reputations by:

1) Firstly, knowing whether a partner is addicted to technology.

2) Analyzing his or her use of that technology.

3) Using language that is frank, yet trustworthy.

4) Trying to guess what the user might be discussing.

Be specific and attentive when communicating with someone who is suffering from tech use issues. A little knowledge will go a long way.

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