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Are you a screen-snubber whose phone use is ruining your relationship? Take this test!

A YouGov poll has revealed that a third of people in a relationship have fallen victim to “screen snubbing” – when their partners are too distracted by their phones to properly engage with them.

Screen snubbing is to a degree understandable. After all, your partner is just a person and your phone is effectively the sum total of all human knowledge. But the damage the habit causes is real. The solicitor who commissioned the poll has spoken of the surge in divorce inquiries she has received as a result of people spending too long on their phones. Are you a screen snubber? Answer these six questions.

How do you spend your evenings?

If your evenings primarily consist of you sitting on the opposite end of your sofa from your partner, exhausted and constantly refreshing Instagram, you are a screen snubber. Put your phone down and try to connect.

What just happened on the TV show you’re ostensibly watching?

You don’t know, do you? Or if you do, it’s only because you’ve been absent-mindedly scrolling through the show’s Wikipedia page instead of watching it. It’s fine if you do this from time to time – it’s how I got through the first series of Game of Thrones – but try not to make it a habit. It’s one thing to screen snub a person. But if you’re screen snubbing another screen, you’ve got a problem.

What did your partner just say?

You know they definitely said something, because you heard their voice. But now whatever it was has ended and there’s an expectant silence, so you’ve got to do something. What? It can’t be another non-committal grunt – you’ve made dozens of those already tonight. Maybe it’s time to apologise.

What was the last meaningful discussion you had with your partner?

A couple of nights ago, I realised that the main topic of conversation I have with my wife is the string of unaffordable Zoopla properties we WhatsApp to each other in the midst of an extended screen-snubbing session. Is this the most damning indictment of modern marriage you’ve ever heard? Yes it is.

What is that noise?

There’s been a low-level yelping sound rumbling on for about an hour now. Look up. Is it one of your children, begging to be acknowledged as a valid human presence? Yes? Put your phone down.

The powerful in tech…

… must keep being challenged with bold investigative journalism. It’s been a year since The Observer and The Guardian broke the story that became the Cambridge Analytica scandal, exposing the truth and shedding light on the reality of foul play within the tech industry. We saw how personal data could be harvested on an unprecedented scale to fulfill the ambitions of the powerful. Through this courageous investigative reporting, we shamed Facebook, and prompted a global conversation about the importance of data privacy, holding tech companies to account and pressuring governments to enact regulation.

The Guardian is committed to continuing this vital work; we will keep persevering, uncovering and challenging those with so much power in the tech industry. This has never been so pressing: we’re living in a time when the integrity of our democracy and the legitimacy of our votes are in question. Political campaigns reside in our many digital feeds and, with each year, this will become ever more prominent. The world needs journalism that promotes transparency and investigates where others won’t go. Reader support means The Guardian can keep investigating the critical issues of our time.

The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important as it enables us to give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

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