How Technology Negatively Impacts Relationships
How Technology Negatively Impacts Relationships
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How many people can last a week without using their phones? Obviously, not many people can. Surprisingly, despite the fact that technology was meant to bring people together especially through social media sites such as Facebook, it actually does the opposite. It is not uncommon to find a couple in bed each busy scrolling through their phones neglecting one another’s presence in the room. This paper reports that technology has influenced intimacy, created distractions, and increased depression in relationships.
Couples are engaging in technology, particularly social media, as a result of the fear of missing out, better known as FOMO. With people like the Kardashians flaunting their relationships and flashy lifestyles on social media, people are increasingly developing the urge to get updated regarding their lives, missing out on their own actual lives outside social media. This in turn affects their mental health (Elsobeihi & Abu Naser, 2017). Mental health has been affected by excessive social media use. The School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburg assessed the rates of depression in younger persons citing that there are higher depression odds among people with excessive engagement and spending on social media (Hertlein & Twist, 2019). Relationships are additionally hit as partners experience a decrease in mood, love, satisfaction within the relationship, and their general well-being is affected. FOMO is blamed for these declines. Peer pressure is an additional cause with friends and family engaging in technology, hence the need to be up to date with current occurrences. With the pressure to have an Instagram and a Snapchat account brings separation on the emotional connections that people maintain outside the internet. Partners take a picture to post on social media portraying themselves as a happy couple, when in actual sense, they are growing apart. They lose their emotional connections and become engrossed in the comments they receive on social media at the expense of their relationship.
Technology serves as a distraction in peoples’ relationships. A poll conducted in 2015 revealed that almost half of the respondents, translating to 453 adults said that even in the presence of their partners, their phones were still a huge distraction (Good Therapy, 2016). The periods spent in technology utilization can promptly contribute to a sizeable portion of the waking hours of an individual. A similar time allotment that just a couple of years back, may have been taken to be online addiction is now typical in the use of smartphones, essentially among the younger users. Even when not put into use, technology is still considered a distraction. One study showed that when addicted technology users are disconnected from the internet, they develop increased anxiety levels as opposed to moderate users just after ten minutes (Good Therapy, 2016). there are already existing challenges in intimate relationships, and the changing technologies can contribute to the stress of contemporary relationships. There is a possibility of fueling dissatisfaction and conflict with the extensive use of technology in the presence of a partner. It is reported that 1 in 4 owners of a cell phone within a marriage or relationship found their partner excessively distracted as a result of smartphone usage (Good Therapy, 2016). Almost one in ten got into conflicts with their partner regarding the period spent on their smartphones (Good Therapy, 2016). The study noted that several arguments between couples may have touched on the utilization of technology, including making decisions on when to abstain from technology use and when to use the devices. Technology is additionally altering a number of intimate ways in which partners find connection. In fact, the rate of sexting has been on the rise with 1 in 5 smartphone users having obtained a sext from a familiar person. From 2012, this is a 1/3 increase in a span of four years (Good Therapy, 2016).
In summary, excessive technology usage is disastrous for relationships. As opposed to bringing people together, it creates a rift, conflict, and increases the dissatisfaction rates in relationships. It not only serves as a distraction in relationships, but also reduces intimacy and contributes to depression. These effects are attributed to FOMO and the need to do what other people are doing.
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Elsobeihi, M. M., & Abu Naser, S. S. (2017). Effects of mobile technology on human relationships. International Journal of Engineering and Information Systems (IJEAIS), 1(5), 110-125.
Hertlein, K. M., & Twist, M. L. (2019). The Internet family: Technology in couple and family relationships. Routledge.
Good Therapy. (2016, September 19). 3 ways technology can negatively impact your relationships. GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/3-ways-technology-can-negatively-impact-your-relationships-0919167