December 4, 2014

"Forty percent of women said their men would get distracted by the TV during a conversation at least once a day..."

"... while a third said he would take out his phone in the middle of a conversation or during a meal together. A quarter said their partner would actually send texts or emails to another person while they were having a face-to-face conversation."

From an NPR report on a survey of 143 married or cohabiting heterosexual women. No word on whether women (and gay people) interact with electronic devices during conversations.

By the way, I love the illustration at the link.

43 comments:

EMD said...

Might be easier to put away men.

MadisonMan said...

More than half don't say this.

In typical complaining fashion, however, the results are presented in a way to shine the worst light on men.

SGT Ted said...

maybe if these women weren't so boring, talking about minutae, the men would pay attention.

Scott M said...

Yes, I'm sure the data is completely gender-neutral.

Once you notice how badly men are treated in the media (news, prime-time, advertising), it's stunning just how widespread and constant it is.

Nobody's worried about the subliminal damage this is doing to boys growing up?

SGT Ted said...

And yea, women do that crap on the phone too.

EMD said...

Here's the thing: We lament that boys are boys and have ADHD and we can't completely medicate distraction out of them.

Guess what?

They grow up to be men who exhibit much of the same particulars, and the modern woman is left to lament their inattentiveness.

Maybe the sexes are different for a reason.

Crazy, I know.

SGT Ted said...

Women sure like to be the center of attention and don't like anything that takes away from that, is what I get out of the article.

traditionalguy said...

The warning labels on iphones will soon include " Low battery and divorce may result from more than four hours of continuous use while in bed."

Kyzernick said...

I'm with SGT Ted on this one. I see my SO get distracted by TV all the time, even when crafting (gasp)! But when I do it, I used to get a look. Like generations of men before me, I've perfected the art of listening with one ear and nodding. It works.

damikesc said...

Women usually don't tend to look for the man's input anyway. Men have learned, LONG ago, that anything more than "Uh huh, you're right" is going to lead to headaches so we react accordingly.

FullMoon said...

When is the last time a woman said anything worth listening to?

SGT Ted said...

The article is yet another casually sexist smear of men as lesser beings than women. The cultural sexism of women is celebrated in popular culture as insight.

gerry said...

Forty percent of men reported their television viewing was interrupted by conversation with their women at least twelve times each day.

Paco Wové said...

"...the results are presented in a way to shine the worst light on men."

It's long been clear that NPR views affluent white women as its primary audience.

PB said...

Maybe if the women surveyed didn't talk so boringly long...

Matthew Sablan said...

Oddly enough, NPR is blocked at work [or at least, the website is down/unavailable and giving me the usual "you can't go there from here" message.]

Is there a breakdown by age? I've noticed people my age (~30) are polite enough to pay attention when talking face to face. Once you get more than two or three years younger, the cell phone multitasking happens.

pst314 said...

"No word on whether women interact with electronic devices during conversations."

Women are more frequent offenders among the people I know. And completely unapologetic about it.

Laslo Spatula said...

First women were upset when men would stare at their boobs when they were talking; now they are upset that we are not staring at their boobs when they are talking? Ladies, get your stories straight...

I am Laslo.

Bruce Hayden said...

Men have learned, LONG ago, that anything more than "Uh huh, you're right" is going to lead to headaches so we react accordingly.

Except my SO has taken to asking me to repeat what she just said.

For me though, while it sometimes happens when I am watching TV, it is much more common when I am working on the computer (such as commenting on one of Ann's posts, or doing actual "work"). The difference between us is that I am not allowed to interrupt her TV, but she does mine (and computer stuff) constantly. And, I am supposed to be following her TV shows in the background, so that I can answer her questions about such.

I will admit to be becoming harder of hearing as I progress through my 60s. She wants me to get a hearing aid. Which I think unneeded, since this is normal for my family, and probably most men. I will also admit to not multi-tasking worth a damn, and invariably being focused on my interests when she calls me on my lack of attention. I tell her that if she wants to live with someone who can multi-task, and shares her TV habits, she should take up with a woman, and not a guy.

lgv said...

The phone is a disease thing that has swept across the US and parts of the rest of the world.

Those afflicted must look at their phone every few minutes, lest they miss the latest text, pinterest, instagram, facebook update. The "kids" were texting each other at the Thanksgiving meal a couple of years ago, rather than actually talk to each other.

I'm sure if men initiated the same number of conversations, the statistics would be the same. I would like to see the stats on distraction relative to which person started the conversation.

SGT Ted said...

Except my SO has taken to asking me to repeat what she just said.

Which is obnoxious as hell. As if you were her pupil.

MadisonMan said...

I've noticed people my age (~30) are polite enough to pay attention when talking face to face. Once you get more than two or three years younger, the cell phone multitasking happens.

"People my age" have ALWAYS been more polite than people who are just a couple years younger.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the illustration on the left is doing an online search for the consent laws in his state, and checking the recent 'sex' pyramid procedures on how to proceed to second-base.

The pyramid is distributed by the Health Bureau, for which he codes, and is updated in real-time, so he's showing resourcefulness and his mating rank while courting the lovely illustration on the right, who's name may/may not be Julia.

He wants to proceed like a gentleman.

Plus we all know you can't be too careful with those potentially hyphenated-name-chick illustrations and subordinates in the Bureau.

Saint Croix said...

It's weird to frame this as a gender issue. Why would you do that? Go out in the world and look at people. I see this all the time now, particularly with young people. Four women, sitting at a table, and all four of them have their cell phones out and are surfing the internet.

No conversations with the people right in front of you!

I see this as a real downside to technology, how it isolates us and cheats us from real relationships.

BarrySanders20 said...

It's probably generational. My kids -- teenagers -- are far more involved with their clinking devices than my wife or me. First thing during breakfast, hunched over the device checking whatever messaging channel they use, on the sofa hunched over when I come home form work, and all night unless we intervene. It's replaced the newspaper or other print media.

Sports practices and games is about the only time they are screen-free.

Maybe they are telling us that we're boring.

As for Smartphones causing a male/female divide, I really don't see any difference in one side being the distracted one and the other the neglected. Women complain more, but maybe they have more to complain about, so the poll results will be skewed if the question is designed to gauge if a person (here, only women) feels neglected.

Of course they feel neglected! They have to deal with men. Smartphones just make it easier for men to slip away from whatever it is they are yakking about.

But if you've been married for 25 years, you've covered lots of ground already. I confess that sometimes I will start yakking about something that my wife just doesn't care about (maybe an arcane legal issue I had to dig into, or maybe English Premier League soccer) but I will keep going just to see how long she will put up the facade that she's interested. I give her credit when she gives up and just tells me she doesn't know what I'm talking about and is really not listening anymore. I should be so honest. But I know her reaction would be much different than laughing it off and really not being upset.

That's why Althouse is interesting. I read what I want to read and engage when I want to engage without any obligation or expectation. The only drawback is when I check my Smartphone in bed when it's really late and I can't sleep and think my wife is sleeping but she tells me to turn that goddamn thing off and she wished I would not bring it anywhere near the bed, and I mention that I know some things we could do that would be much more fun and she says "Oh Jesus" and stays over on her side.

Bryan C said...

"No word on whether women (and gay people) interact with electronic devices during conversations. "

They do. But women are listening for vitally important information, or perhaps checking into an urgent matter on Pinterest that requires their immediate attention. See, they can do more than one thing without getting all distracted, unlike stupid heterosexual men.

ken in tx said...

I seldom watch TV. However, at least one or twice a week, my wife will start a face to face conversation with me when I am trying to listen to NPR.

Gahrie said...

women = good
men = bad

khesanh0802 said...

I am disgusted by the cell phone culture that results in the four men/women at a table all using their phones rather than engaging each other. One: it strikes me as extremely rude (I feel like my mother). Two: if they don't want to interact why the hell waste each other's time?

I have hunted with people - some my children -who have used their phones in the field. I have taken to telling them that if they pull it out one more time I will shoot it. That solves the problem - they know I mean it!

sean said...

No one would do a study of what women do wrong, and if someone did, it wouldn't get published. That's why academic journals are such garbage, and purported academic consensuses on various topics mean nothing. More and more, I think that the whole higher education enterprise is simply a theft of our tax dollars.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My other half and I say, "When you reach a good pausing point [in your book, article, TV show, phone fiddling, what have you] let me know because I want to show/tell you something."

If it's a longer conversation that needs to happen, we tend to plan for that. "When's a good time to talk about my conversation with so-and-so's teacher?"

It takes the static away if you're a little planful and respectful about these things.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't expect him to be in standby mode at all times in case I say something, but when I do ask for him to find a convenient time to give me his attention, I get receive it fully.

MadisonMan said...

It takes the static away if you're a little planful and respectful about these things.

Always assume that your partner is not a mind-reader.

Fernandinande said...

No word on whether women (and gay people) interact with electronic devices during conversations.

Well, duh, the whole point is to make normal men look bad.

But when They pull these stunts I just assume that the un-asked or un-reported groups are worse.

Dan Hossley said...

Who really cares?

n.n said...

So the majority of men are either conscientious companions or their women do not feel threatened by the boob tube "mistress". The war on men and heterosexual relationships loses another battle. Perhaps men and women are more rational and reasonable than the social complex would have us believe.

Forbes said...

"Forty percent of women said their men would get distracted by the TV during a conversation..."

Because he was watching TV when you started talking to him!

In other words, 60% of men gave their complete attention, despite the women interrupting what they were doing.

I'm sorry, was there a problem?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It's not like the men were going to listen anyway: Research shows couples can tune out spouse's voice.

damikesc said...

Which is obnoxious as hell. As if you were her pupil.

Then you respond with "You discussed how much you love me"

When she says "I didn't say that", you can indignantly reply "You DON'T love me?" and make her defensive.

My wife knows when I've zoned out.

Carl Pham said...

Eighty percent of the women in the survey probably could not themselves remember what they'd said five minutes earlier (or even ten -- sometimes these stream-of-consciousness natterings go on quite a while).

tim in vermont said...

I may convert to Islam and throw burkas over the whole mob of them.

That girl at UVA was concerned that the men who just viciously and forcibly gang raped her wouldn't invite her to parties anymore if she complained.

RuyDiaz said...

So, in short....

...women can't shut up?

Rick Lee said...

When I got my first smartphone, my wife chastised me for looking at it in restaurants... until she got one. Now of course it's perfectly ok. It reminds me of how hospitals used to make you turn off your cellphone around operating rooms and such... until the doctors all wanted to use their phones in these areas so now it's perfectly ok.