It’s almost cliche at this point to say that technology and relationships don’t always mix well, but it bears repeating. As with most things, there is a fine line between using technology and being used by it. That phone in your pocket has the power to keep you and your sweetheart joined at the hip whether you’re in the same room or in a different timezone. How can it be a bad thing?
The uses of technology to improve connection are well documented. Dating sites like eHarmony and Match, and apps like Tinder and Bumble make the initial contact stage more approachable. They allow us to cast wide nets in order to meet people we would not otherwise meet. We have dozens of options when it comes to communicating with our partners. Texting and calling are by no means the only options for communicating. The list of other apps designed to help us stay connected may very well be endless!
And of course, no discussion of technology and connection would be complete without talking about social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all of the other platforms give us the opportunity to stay connected not only to our partners, but to everyone!
If used responsibly, technology can strengthen your relationship in a way that nothing else can. At the same time, they also have the power to destroy your relationship like nothing else can.
The Conflict Between Technology And Relationships
When our drive to engage with technology overtakes our desire to make contact with others, that is a good sign that we are approaching internet addiction territory; although it does not necessarily have to reach the point of addiction to be problematic. Anything that distracts us from giving our partners the attention they need and deserve can undermine the relationship.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you want to assess the disharmony between technology and your relationship:
- When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you do?
- What is the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
- When you spend time with your partner, how much time do you spend checking something online?
- Has your partner ever complained to you that you spend too much time on your phone/computer/gaming system?
These four questions are by no means an exhaustive list. Hopefully they can give you a pretty good idea of how much distance techonology is putting between you and your partner.
If Twitter is the first thing you check on in the morning, and Instagram the last thing you see at night, then you may want to talk to your partner about whether that is a problem. If your dates are spent following ESPN’s coverage of the Texas Rangers (I mean, they’re doing alright this year…), then you aren’t paying attention to what really matters: the person sitting across from you. And if you’re spending so much time on your phone that your partner feels the need to say something, odds are that you’re spending too much time on your phone.
Harmonizing Technology And Relationships
Okay, so we’ve talked about how terrible technology can be for relationships, let’s talk about the other side. How can we bring the two together?
Ultimately, there is no “Ultimate Guide To Technology and Relationships.” You and your partner are the only ones with the authority to decide how much is too much. And what works one day may not work the next, so pay attention to the small changes in your day to day lives, and check in with each other. If you start to notice some distance coming between you, say something. The more you and your partner talk, the easier it will be to deal with relationship threats, whether they’re coming from inside the house or outside.
I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment, and share this post with anyone you think may appreciate it!