Is Technology Affecting Our Relationships With Others?
Technology is at the forefront of today’s society and is pervasive in everyday life. However, there are many negative ways that this invasive technology can affect the way we communicate in our relationships with others.
According to Huffington Post, the study of technology in epigenetics shows us that our brain is becoming rewired by technology. In social media, we see into other people’s private spheres, creating this sort of bubble of immersion where we think we should be involved in people’s private lives. We either use this for better or for worse, to share our point of view of the world or interest or attract others.
So, technology rewires the way we communicate. How, you may ask? For example, with the rise in technology use in the workplace, people are expected to use the efficiency of technology to focus on work outside of the workplace, including at home. This invades the home life, causing loss of family connection and family conflicts. Technology affects the way we form friendships too. A California State University and UCLA study said that for young people, face-to-face interactions are less desirable than social media or texting. This could cause an inability to form lasting friendships or difficulty understanding social cues. When we send confrontational messages over phone rather than in person it blocks us from registering the negative emotional responses, which gives the illusion that we’re not really doing harm. Unfortunately, this also usually means we don’t use as much empathy, and often find ourselves sending a different message than we intended. It’s much easier to injure friendships online than in person because of the ease of creating misunderstandings electronically. With romantic relationships, technology helps couples to become more connected than ever, which can lead to more conflict and expectation. An instant reply is expected so when it is not there, it causes more problems than it should. “Whatever dating site you use, you ‘meet’ someone and immediately start fantasizing about them, because it can be more fun than reality,” says Bea Arthur, a mental health counselor of an online therapy website. “I see people delaying meeting in person for as long as possible, although we know better.” And in some extreme cases, one might fantasize being in a relationship with a fictional character on the internet, corresponding with addiction. This happened to Benjamin Painter, 32, of Dallas, who lost his ex-wife to a fantasy relationship she developed over Facebook’s Mafia Wars.
Technology is becoming a hindrance against the human connection in society. There is less compromise and community now then ever before. Technology has affected the way we perceive and portray emotions, therefore effecting the way we handle situations and talk to others. Do you think technology is affecting your relationships, or relationships in general? How/Why?