Technology has changed almost, if not, all aspects of our lives. From business and payment processes, social networking, and day-to-day activities, technological advancements have changed the way we live. One of these activities is meeting new people and forming relationships.
Technology and the internet are supposed to simplify life and make living more seamless. The same can be said for dating and relationships. A 2014 study conducted by Ancheta and Hertlein from the University of Nevada analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of technology in relationships.
One of the benefits of technology today involves people being able to meet new people having similar interests, beliefs, or hobbies. Technology has made meeting such people faster and easier, especially with access and convenience. Online encounters also mean that non-verbal communication has no influence, translating to confidence and less anxiety during such interactions.
Online availability and support also mean more means of communication, allowing room for emotional support, conflict management, and expressing feelings. This can also mean more intimate conversation due to not being around anyone when a conversation does happen.
Technology has also allowed users to be information seekers, looking for advice on relationship management and using the internet for guidance. The internet, for example, has many ideas for date nights as well as experiences and stories from other people who are able to answer questions.
Technology is also an instrumental factor for people in long-distance relationships, with online messaging and video calls as the medium of communication as well as making people feel closer even at a distance.
With the many advantages of technology, there are also some negative influences to strongly consider.
The ease of technology, for example, means that people may create fewer efforts in engaging with their partners and the lack of physical contact and communication, especially when dealing with important issues and challenges. Also, the way people communicate because of technology may interfere with the relationship.
Another drawback is the lack of attention or focus to their partners due to technology itself being a distraction (e.g., looking at their phones during dates). The fact that people can hide things from their partner through technology and be non-confrontational can lead to trust issues ,and eventually, unfaithfulness, insecurity, and cheating. Technology, unfortunately, has also made infidelity easier and temptation more accessible.
Technological communication has also led to miscommunication, ambiguity, and a lack of clarity. Misinterpreted messages lead to misunderstandings and conflict. Since there may be no face to face interactions, feelings and messages can be misinterpreted or incorrectly read. Communication is vital in relationships and must be strong for couples in maintaining a healthy relationship.
Making It Work: Technological or Not
A relationship does not mean a trip to a marriage or family counseling specialist in Broomfield yet. Technology has made relationships progress so fast that they end quicker and with little warning. Set a pace comfortable for the two of you and communicate with each other.
Talk out problems and what you both want while being considerate. Being able to talk to anything with them while not worrying about what they have to say indicates good communication and trust. Trust is a characteristic that proves difficult with the emergence of technology. Knowing your partner will not hurt you and has faith in you means respecting your privacy and not trying too hard to earn trust. Trust, communication, and honesty cannot be emphasized enough in a technological age.
Also, you or your partner will not always be 100%. Sometimes, you will be giving extra effort to their 20% by being the 80% or vice versa. Feeling listened to and understanding circumstances allow making each other feel important and valued.
The moral of the story here is to use technology for its advantages and maintain what makes a healthy relationship. Long distance? Use FaceTime or Skype to keep in touch and communicate. With or without technology, relationships should not be overshadowed but shared with trust, communication, honesty, and respect.