Will advancing technological tools be the downfall of your relationship?
Unless you’ve been living on a remote island for the last several years you know first-hand how technology has changed nearly every aspect of our lives. From the way we obtain and exchange information to how we connect and interact with others, technology can play a valuable role in enriching our lives and our relationships.
But with technological tools advancing faster than the “user’s manual” can keep up with them, the potential for mishaps through misuse is greater than ever, especially in the personal relationship arena.
With that in mind, here’s a list of 6 sure-fire ways that technology, used badly, can sabotage just about any relationship.
1. Blurring of boundaries
Whether it’s a couple’s first date or fiftieth anniversary, the necessity to recognize and respect accepted boundaries of behavior is critical in building and maintaining a healthy relationship. Back in the days before technology threatened to invade our every waking moment, these boundaries were fairly self-evident. But in a world where technology tempts us to stay plugged-in, regardless of where we are or what we’re doing, it’s important to recognize that overusing technology in social settings can damage a relationship. The thing to remember is that there really is a time and a place for everything. Nothing says “you’re not all that important to me” than using technology at the wrong time and in the wrong setting.
2. Diluting the moment
For every great application of technology designed to help us better meet our day to day needs, there are distractions that can keep us from experiencing life “in the moment”. And as anyone in a relationship will tell you, it’s the unexpected moments that make all the difference. Although technology allows us to share our experiences with others in words and pictures, the very act of doing so makes us observers of the events instead of participants. So, the next time you’re out with someone and a special moment occurs, resist the urge to immediately chronicle and post it on your social media page and allow yourself to enjoy that moment to its fullest with the person you are actually with, rather than trying to share it with a virtual audience.
So, the next time you’re out with someone and a special moment occurs, resist the urge to immediately chronicle and post it on your social media page and allow yourself to enjoy that moment to its fullest with the person you are actually with, rather than trying to share it with a virtual audience.
3. Distorting reality
Face it. We all want to look and be the best we can be. But when it comes to posting personal information on Social Media sites, it’s all too easy to make ourselves over as the people we think that others will be attracted to. But when the goal is to meet people we can relate to and trust, the old adage that “honesty is the best policy” applies more than ever. Besides, putting up a false front takes a lot of work to sustain and in the end, it will usually come back to haunt you as the truth usually has a way of revealing itself.
4. Enabling regrettable behavior
As human beings living in a social world, sometimes our emotions get the best of us, and we say and do things that we don’t really mean. In the era before instant communication, the tendency was to count to 10 before acting irrationally; knowing that in some shape or form you would have to face the consequences. Not so today. If something or someone ticks you off you can “flame them” with a text or a tweet almost instantly. But the painful reality is that once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, and you can’t prevent others from sharing it with their cyber-friends.
The same holds true for words and actions that flatter when they shouldn’t. If you had a good time on a date you may feel inclined to express the emotion of the moment, rather than doing so at a time when you are thinking more clearly. This can cause others to read more into what you have said or done, forming false perceptions about how you really feel about them that can lead to awkward moments during future “real world” encounters.
5. Diminishing spontaneity
While technology can be of great benefit in providing information which can present new options and opportunities ready to enrich our relationships, if we let technology do all the work we risk missing out on the benefits of being spontaneous. Although it’s great to be able to choose from a full menu of activities and then purchase tickets, or make reservations and even get door-to-door directions on our smartphones, there is something to be said for leaving a few things to chance once in a while—like the couple reportedly trying to find a hotel in Los Angeles who made a wrong turn onto a winding road. At the end of the road was a lookout point offering a breathtaking, sunset painted panorama of the Los Angeles basin that, had they been using GPS, would never have been discovered.
6. Fostering miscommunication
One of the greatest weaknesses of the technology boom is that it has created myriads of ways for people to communicate electronically without context. And communication without context is communication waiting to be misunderstood. According to researchers in communication techniques, words constitute less than 10% in conveying the actual meaning and intent of a message, whereas body language and tone make up 65 and 25 percent respectively.
The lesson to be learned is that, although technology is a valuable tool in communicating cold hard facts, it sadly lacks the ability to convey what the sender is really trying to say. So, the next time you have something important to tell that special someone in your life, try making it known face-to-face, in a technology-free zone.
Alex Wise is blog contributor and dating consultant of Loveawake.com – the fast-growing online dating site. The site uses your responses to pair you with compatible dates across USA, UK, Australia, Canada and etc, promising a high accuracy rate as long as you know what you want and are honest about it. He has been covering online dating, relationships, breakups and marriage niche since 2008. Follow him on the company site or on Facebook and Twitter