Scientific American has reported that cell phone usage can actually hurt your relationships. The article reported on studies from the University of Essex. The studies by Pryzbylski and Weinstein found that even having a cell phone nearby can have a negative effect on personal relationships. In several experiments, the presence of a cell phone had no effect on relationship quality if the subjects discussed a casual topic. However, if the topic was meaningful, subjects who conversed with a cell phone in their vicinity reported that their relationship worsened.
The article concludes that “…interacting in a neutral environment, without a cell phone nearby, seems to help foster closeness, connectedness, interpersonal trust, and perceptions of empathy—the building blocks of relationships.” For all the convenience the cell phone provides, it lacks those aspects of communication that can be the most important, expecially the establishment and continued fostering of trust.
The use of the cell phone provides a method to keep communications between divorced and separated parents. However, the cell phone also has limitations as expressed in this study.