The information age that we currently live in has rapidly changed how we conduct ourselves in education, business, and human interaction.
Significant advances such as social media, instant messaging, and emails have all made one-on-one communication easier and convenient. Parents can keep in touch with their kids all day long, dating sites are matching thousands of spouses each and every year, and friends can easily communicate face-to-face across great distances.
However, even as the society seamlessly adapts to these new avenues of contacts, technology is stripping away some important aspects of how we connect and relate on a personal basis.
Pros and Cons of Technology on Relationships
Positive Effects of Technology
Today, it is easier to find people with the similar backgrounds or interests even if you live in a large metropolis, all thanks to social media.
Whether you like sports, video games, cooking, or anything whatsoever, you can create or search these groups or communities on social media. The best part about this is that you can share your ideas and solutions without having to meet physically.
Easy Introductions to Relationships
Sometimes social anxiety can be quite crippling and this limits our potential of making new relationships with new people. Fortunately, mobile phones and computers provides a conducive setting that’s much more comfortable for shyer people.
Through this devices, communication is slowed and more relaxed. Eventually, you can meet up in person when you get to know a little bit about each other. While these online interactions cannot replace the actual one-on-one introduction, it will help you know whether a soon-to-be relationship is worth it or just a complete waste of time.
Closing the Gap
Distance no longer determines how often we communicate to each other. Thanks to the internet and mobile phones, there are countless ways to conveniently and instantly communicate with people all around the world. Long-distance relationships are now better than never before.
Negative Effects of Technology
Poor Communication Etiquette
While the internet is excellent at transferring information, it does a sloppy job at satisfying connections and transacting emotions. People tend to delay or fail to reply to messages that they do not have answers to or just want to avoid the responsibility that that message demands of them. In a face-to-face situation, you will be obliged to give your answer right away.
Hiding Behind Technology
Have you ever used or do you still use the “LOL”? We bet most of the times you are hardly laughing, right?
This is just a little example of how people are now hiding behind electronic media. It may be easier to lie, start confrontations, and have fake or edited pictures of yourself on social media, but all these will lower your self-esteem and provide an illusion that does more harm than good.
Technology has, without a doubt, distracted us from our physical relationships. The time that people spend on their mobile devices quickly adds up to a significant portion of a person’s life. This time could be used to do something more productive.
Moreover, focusing on your gadgets requires more energy and time than physical conversations. This distraction may lead to PTSD and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) triggers.
Internet addiction is like an electronic drug that yanks you away from the real world with real people. More and more people are now substituting physical relationships for electronic relationships. The effects of social media addition are vast, from social isolation to anxiety and depression.
Social Media and Relationships: Are We Addicts?
Though they have their benefits, our mobile devices have become the new cigarettes, we can’t do without them. We are unable to switch them off or sleep without them due to the addictive relationship that we’ve cultivated.
With the increase in social media addiction, many people are enrolling for digital detox and internet-free retreats. Just the idea of a holiday vacation somewhere without Wi-Fi connections may seem absurd, but this is the only way of escaping the demands of technology.
Generally, the impact of technology on relationships paints a rather gloomy picture. But it is definitely a very valuable discussion to have as it helps us balance our online and offline lives both professionally and personally.
The best approach is to make yourself available to technology only when it is necessary so that it supplements rather than replace our relationships.
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