The Pros And Cons Of Technology And Relationships
Technology plays a very prevalent role in modern society. Technology's dominance in our everyday lives touches not only work, business, and travel but also relationships. In today's age, people can meet one another online and carry on entire conversations before ever coming face to face with one another. However, technology may interfere with those conversations, as well.
The existence of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, has paved the way for various connections and relationships. Dating websites such as Tinder are also regularly used by people interested in finding love in non-traditional manners. How modern-day relationships are approached has been largely influenced by the existence of information technology. Ahead, we’ll discuss the different ways in which technology can impact relationships, for better or worse.
A Quick Word On Modern Technology
While technology's crossover with relationships does come with some inherent pros and cons, it's important to remember that technology in and of itself is not evil. Ultimately, technology is a tool that can be employed for both various means. Modern technology has added some benefits to society, but it's also come with some drawbacks. How communication technology is employed for relationship purposes will ultimately determine whether or not the technology itself yields positive or negative results. But what cannot be refuted is that it has a significant impact on relationships.
In recent years, various individuals have raised questions about whether technology disconnects human beings from one another or actually strengthens relationships. Of course, there are applications like FaceTime, Skype, etc., but there are also concerns about whether individuals are losing the ability to connect without devices. On the other hand, many relationships have come into inception due to technology and various dating and social networking platforms.
The impact of technology in relationships will ultimately depend upon who is using technology and their specific endgames.
The Pros Of Technology And Relationships
There are (at least) two sides to every story. For quite some time now, the adverse impacts of technology in modern-day relationships have gained attention; positive impacts and upsides are less commonly discussed, giving a skewed perception of technology and its potential for improving society. Understanding the pros of technology and relationships can prove advantageous as people make decisions about their lives and strengthen their relationships.
Enabling Stronger Relationships
Technology often gets a bad rap for reducing the quality of human interactions and relationships. However, in many instances, technology brings people closer together and strengthens relationships. This is seen when two people meet one another online and then later go out in person for coffee, dinner, or drinks.
In many cases, certain internet platforms allow people to meet with individuals they would never encounter if not for technology. People need to understand that the impact of technology comes with the power to strengthen and foster relationships amongst willing individuals.
Forging Professional Connections
In recent years, freelance work and the gig economy have gained traction and attention from the mainstream media due to the impact of technology. Freelance work and individuals who can build entire careers from working online are direct offshoots of technology. Individuals who need certain services can post ads on job boards or freelance platforms, such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
Online jobs related to technology are also on the rise on these freelancing websites. If ongoing work is necessary, both parties are allowed to remain in contact with one another. In freelancing, professional relationships are imperative to success, a dynamic that has only come about due to technology.
Overcoming Distance-Related Barriers
In previous times, when people wanted to maintain relationships despite the distance, their options were limited. Writing letters was one of the very few options; now, being thousands of miles apart does not have to stop individuals who truly want to be in contact with one another. Facebook, Instagram, Skype, FaceTime, and so many other platforms provide opportunities for people to remain connected in real-time, improving technology on relationships.
Preparing For The Future
Technology's influence on our everyday lives is not going away; in fact, it's increasing as various forms of artificial intelligence are developed and integrated into society, causing a greater effect of technology on relationships.
The Cons Of Technology And Relationships
The pros of technology and relationships are undeniable; however, there are still certain drawbacks that people should be cognizant of how technology can harm your life. The drawbacks of technology in relationships don't necessarily mean that individuals should abstain from using technology altogether; nevertheless, information about downsides can help people learn what they should and shouldn't do. Knowing the mistakes others have made can truly ensure that everyone doesn't have to learn certain lessons the hard way.
Too much of a good thing is almost always problematic, and technology is no exception to this rule. For as much as technology can improve lives, too much intake also has the power to ruin lives. Forming relationships solely related to technology can provide a false sense of intimacy since it becomes very easy for people to lie about who they are. To this day, many individuals are living with addictions to technology in one form or another, whether it's video games, YouTube, or other social networking sites.
Spending a fair amount of time on these platforms is one thing, but when technology begins to interfere with individuals' abilities to engage with others in the real world, this is when issues arise. For as much good as technology can do, it should never become so powerful in someone's life that they are psychologically dependent upon it.
Avoidance Of Real-Life Interactions
Another drawback of technology comes when people employ it as a means to avoid having real-life conversations. Technology can interfere with having face-to-face conversations, allowing people to remain distant, ignoring or blocking people altogether when uncomfortable topics come up.
This occurs more commonly than most individuals can imagine; sometimes, it's easier to type a passive-aggressive message than sit down with someone and have a face-to-face conversation, even if it's not the easiest conversation. Steering clear of uncomfortable interactions in real life may seem harmless, but in most cases, it can be problematic later down the line.
There is a certain emotional detachment that comes along with using technology to avoid certain aspects of face-to-face relationships. This emotional detachment can lead to rudeness or outright dismissal. When someone doesn't have to sit down with someone and see their facial expressions, nonverbal clues, etc., it's easier to make statements that they wouldn't make in person.
Lack Of Focus
Technology is an ideal tool for individuals who enjoy multitasking, which could be considered one of the ways technology has helped us be more productive. In certain circumstances, this can be beneficial, but there are times were dividing your attention across multiple matters can lead to cracks and missed details. People can easily open up their laptops and have multiple tabs open, including work emails, Facebook, and funny videos on YouTube.
By splitting one's attention across multiple areas, certain relevant details can go missing, thus leading to unintended consequences later down the line. This is not guaranteed in all cases, but it's certainly possible that individuals should be aware of as they use technology.
Distraction From Real Life
Complaints about people using their phones or tablets at inopportune times, such as dinner, meetings, etc., are almost universal pet peeves. Sometimes, individuals can become so preoccupied with checking the news or reading their Google alerts that they neglect the relationships and people outside their scenes. This is inherently problematic and can certainly lead to fractured relationships if the behavior is habitual.
How To Make The Most Of Technology
Knowing the pros and cons of technology is certainly relevant in current times. However, it often goes unmissed that everyone is responsible for their own experiences and outcomes. The positive impacts that one person has from technology will not apply to someone who misuses technology or uses it in a manner that isn't conducive to their well-being.
Likewise, an individual who uses technology to further themselves professionally will have a different outcome from a person who has an addiction to social media. It’s all dependent on the ways technology is used.
Ultimately, you are responsible for determining your outcome. Being aware of the many ways in which technology can help or harm your relationships may prove to be valuable as you move throughout the world. Like all tools, technology can reap great benefits or tragic consequences. It is important to know how technology interferes with your daily interactions with other people and nip it in the bud before it gets worse.
When Seeking Professional Help Can Be Of Value
If your relationships are struggling or you are looking for support in some other area of your life, you may find that signing up for online therapy with ReGain can truly be of service. Ironically, online therapy with ReGain is one of the major pros associated with technology and relationships.
Through online therapy platforms like ReGain, you can meet with a licensed therapist at convenient times and from preferred locations, providing you have a secure internet connection. In this way, using online therapy taps into several of the advantages that technology offers. Namely, there’s no need to travel to a far-away in-person therapist’s office to attain support. Being able to meet from your desired location means that you may be more able to maximize your efficiency.
Several studies have confirmed online therapy’s effectiveness in treating a host of mental health conditions, including addiction to the internet, social media, or gaming. In one recent study, practitioners set out to evaluate the effectiveness of an online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention for internet addiction. 128 participants completed the twelve weekly sessions, and results showed that over 95% were able to manage their symptoms. Additionally, 78% sustained recovery six months post-treatment, indicating that online therapy can be a highly effective intervention for internet addiction.
If you’re interested to hear from people who have had positive experiences with online therapy, consider reading reviews of ReGain counselors below.
"My experience with Priscilla has been immensely helpful in better understanding myself and providing me with the tools to see my life and relationships with more clarity and compassion."
“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”
Working with an online therapist does not mean that you will never face hardships or tough times. However, it does mean that you will have a professional in your corner. No matter who you are or what you may be going through – from trying to reconnect with your partner when you both have busy schedules to overcoming body dysmorphia issues related to social media filtering -- your online therapist will have your best interests at heart. So many individuals have benefited from seeking online therapy and gaining the tools to improve the quality of their lives. When you’re ready, you can reach out to a licensed therapist at ReGain and start working toward your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Are Relationships Affected By Technology?
Although technology has made it a little easier to stay in contact with your friends and loved ones who are far away, it can have a negative impact on relationships that you may have never thought possible.
One of the ways technology can affect your relationship is to reduce the intimacy between you and your partner. For one thing, it can be a source of tension if one partner is using their tech devices more often than they should, leaving their partner's feelings ignored. Another negative effect is that technology makes it easier for people to sext (sending sexual messages through text) random people without their partner knowing.
Technology can have a negative impact on the relationship by being a big distraction for either party. Instead of having important conversations, one or both partners are more focused on their phones and checking social media.
Lastly, heavy use of technology can lead to negative mental health outcomes. This is because those who tend to look at a lot of social media tend to have reduced levels of life satisfaction, making them less happy with their partners. Technology interferes with the possibility of partners discussing these issues together to create healthier relationships.
Does Technology Destroy Human Interaction?
Technology can impact relationships by negatively impacting social skills, especially in children and young adults. It’s very easy for there to be miscommunication through text messages. Without face-to-face interactions, it can be not easy to read body language and tone to decipher what someone is saying.
The impact of technology on relationships is also visible outside of the screen. With people staring at their phones rather than at each other, conversations in real life are perhaps not taking place when they should be.
There is a small positive impact of technology on relationships, despite all of this. Some of these interactions have led to people meeting up in person, thereby strengthening their friendship pool.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Technology?
The overuse of technology can not only hurt relationships but also affect your health. Prolonged use can lead to eyestrain, dry eyes, and blurred vision, as well as neck and shoulder pain from staying in one position for so long. Repetitive strain is also placed on wrists and fingers from holding the phone and texting.
There is an impact of technology on the brain as well: this is because tech devices emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin production in the brain, the chemical responsible for helping us get to sleep at night. Exposure to constant blue light can interrupt your circadian rhythm, leading to less restful sleep.
Technology can also interfere with your ideas of self-worth and self-confidence, as well. Being exposed to social media makes it easy for people to compare themselves to others, making them feel as if their lives are less impressive in comparison.
What Are The Positive Effects Of Technology?
One of the positive aspects of technology in relationships is that it can help partners remain close, even when they’re not in the same room or even the same building, such as when one partner is at work in a different area of the world.
For example, instead of having to make a phone call, you can send a loving text message or even an entire conversation during your partner’s lunch break. Being able to have contact with your partner whenever you can has a positive impact on your relationship.
Is Technology Good For Relationships?
Although the trend in news stories has been that technology is making people more impersonal, technology can positively impact intimate relationships. The ways technology can help couples is by providing them with the means to communicate better and manage conflict more healthily.
Through technology, the brain is forced to slow down to put thoughts into a text format, rather than reacting to one’s initial emotions and causing more pain. Slower response times during a conflict can allow both partners to cool off to think more rationally about the situation and how it can be improved upon.
Technology also makes it easier to keep track of certain events going on in a partner’s life. Do they have a big presentation coming up? Setting a reminder can help you remember to provide them with extra support to feel better prepared.
However, technology should not be used to communicate; intimate relationships require face time, so it’s important to save some important topics for in-person conversations.
How Can Technology Be A Barrier To Life And Relationships?
What Are Some Questions About Technology?
What Is The Biggest Problem We Face With Technology Today?
Can We Live Without Technology?
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