We grab our smartphone as soon as we wake and check emails and respond to texts. Throughout the day, we’re constantly on a tablet, mobile device, laptop or desktop for personal or professional use.
We’re messaging, browsing, friending, tweeting and sharing. It is endless…
In the past, people met potential partners and established romantic relationships, mostly through family, friends, or colleagues. These days, people can increase their dating choices exponentially via online dating services like Match or Tinder.
Technology is catching up with tradition
According to eHarmony Australia’s 2015 Relationship Study’ finding your partner online is quickly catching up to more ‘traditional’ ways of meeting partners. In fact, 22% of those surveyed say they met their current partners online, second only to meeting people through mutual friends at 24%.
Technology has taken dating to a new level, every time we get a notification on our phone, we get a little buzz of excitement, which causes a little spike in the release of the reward hormone dopamine. So imagine how these notifications are with online dating, when a new message, another match, someone you want to talk to coming online. And remember it is not just one person we are talking to now but we can speak to 10s of potential partners at one time!
Texting to Sexting
Then once we are into a relationship, our connection with technology is increasing. It’s also changing some of the most intimate ways in which couples connect. Sexting – sending someone text messages containing explicit sexual content – has increased, with 1 in 5 of us having received a sext from someone we know.
This ’emotional invisibility’ via smart devices gives people space to clearly share things via email or messaging, which they’d struggle to say in person. Though there can be a downside to this, as it lacks context. When you receive a message from your partner, you’re unable to detect tone. You can sometimes be unsure when someone is being sarcastic, serious or joking.
Accurate emotional connection relies on facial expression, voice intonation and body language.
In a Brigham Young University study where 38% said they were in a serious relationship, 46% were engaged and 16% were married, found that communicating via text can lead to relationship problems.
82% of the participants traded text messages with their partner multiple times a day and what the results showed were;
· For women: Using text messages to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality
· For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality
· For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship
Technology can help you initiate relationships and connect with people that you may not have been able to previously, though it can create distraction in the current moment, over a long period of time, and even in its absence. According to a 2015 poll at Baylor University, of 453 adults across the United States, nearly half of all respondents reported being distracted by their phones in the presence of a romantic partner.
Time focused on technology can quickly add up to a sizeable portion of a person’s waking hours.
The same allotment of time that just a few years ago might have been considered an online addiction is now commonplace in smartphone use. It represents a shift in how people spend their time and where they focus their energy.
As life moves online more and more, it’s becoming aware of how we communicate with those closest to us and understanding that we each have different ways of connecting. Ultimately technology is only highlighting problems that were already there in a relationship.
When two people are struggling to communicate how they feel about each other face to face and can only do it via messaging, then it is evident that the relationship is probably not heading in the right direction.
At the end of the day we are human beings and human connection is what creates long term and meaningful relationships.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Dean Griffiths
Online Profiles Allow Aussies To Become Dating Investigators – http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2015/08/20/online-profiles-allow-aus_n_8006524.html?1440022144
Too much texting can disconnect couples – https://news.byu.edu/news/too-much-texting-can-disconnect-couples-research-finds
Cellphones Can Damage Romantic Relationships – https://psychcentral.com/news/2015/09/30/cell-phones-can-damage-romantic-relationships/92903.html