007: Tech Effects on Connection

Podcast Guest: Brandon McDaniel

Tech Effects on Connection

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In this Episode

In this episode, Dave and his guest, Brandon McDaniel, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, discuss the effects of technology usage on our relationships.  While Brandon emphasizes that “not all technology is bad” he shares how “technoference” (a term he coined) can lead to disconnecting from those we love. More importantly, he gives tips for managing our own tech habits and having potentially difficult conversations with our partners around this sometimes touchy topic.

0:00 – Introduction: Who is Brandon McDaniel?

1:05 – What is “technoference”?

2:50 – What to do when technology disconnects us.

3:50 – Does relationship satisfaction depend on how much technology is used on a partnership?

5:50 – Technoference: connections and conflict

8:30 – Is technology affecting my relationship with my partner?

10:30 – Why it’s important to communicate technology use expectations with your partner.

11:40 – Addiction vs attention in technology use.

13:40 – How big of an issue is technoference?

14:45 – The power of intentionality.

15:27 – How to manage technology in the bedroom.

19:00 – Couple conversation: What does ideal couple time look like and how to approach that conversation?

24:30 – Technoference at mealtime.

25:30 – When is technology use valuable?

29:15 – Managing technology and teenagers.

31:00 – How are influencers influencing you?

34:25 – Tips on managing media consumption.

About Brandon McDaniel

Brandon T. McDaniel is a family scientist (PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University), Senior Research Scientist at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine Fort Wayne, and nationally recognized expert on the impacts of technology use on relationships, families, and children. Dr. McDaniel’s research on technoference – the interference of device use in our face-to-face interactions and family relationships—has attracted international attention. He has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is actively pursuing research into parent device use and developing educational programming for parents of infants centered around developing healthy digital habits. He also regularly engages in community education in the promotion of healthy digital habits.


Brandon McDaniel: http://www.btmcdaniel.com

Free Technoference eBook: https://www.drdaveschramm.com/techno-ference-ebook

“Raise” parenting app: https://www.joinraise.com

Insights and Invites


Dave: Irritation is an invitation to build together as a couple. Don’t stop communicating if you are frustrated about how much media your partner/children are consuming.

Brandon: Not all tech is bad, but it is still on us to work hard to build our relationships. Think carefully about your use. Don’t fall into the trap of not being intentional about how your tech is affecting your relationship.


  1. Track your screen time on social media and on technology. Set healthy limits for your own media consumption.
  2. Have a conversation with your partner about when technology consumption is beneficial and when it detracts from your connection and quality time together.
  3. For parents: Set boundaries and expectations with your child(ren). Also discuss with your partner setting parental controls on media consumption and time on their device.

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