Valentine Special: the Effects of Technology on Romantic Relationships
It is the season of love again and love is in the air. Can you smell it? What better time than the present to discuss the impact of technology in a very vital part of human existence, Love.
Has technology affected and changed the way we love? Yes it has. Is this change positive or negative, is it a blessing or a curse? Let's find out. The first path we'd take on this journey of discovery is that of the positive effects of technology in romantic relationships.
How has tech positively affected love?
1. Medium of expression
Technology has provided us with numerous ways to express love and affection to our partners. You don't need to stand at your crush's window to sing or recite a poem (I think it's mortifying), a short video on WhatsApp would do. You can send text messages too, even voice messages or better still, call and pour out your heart.
2. Eased Communication
Remember the means of communication lessons in school? Where the teacher would talk about old methods of communicating; smoke signals, musical instruments, songs, town criers, letters, Messengers, etc. While some of these are still in use, they were not very effective and by no means comfortable means of communication. Communication is an essential component of a relationship, the dawn of technology has made communication easier and in turn made maintaining and bonding for couples, easier too. You can spend the full day with your beau without actually being there physically, using video calls.
3. Removed the barrier of distance.
What is distance in this age? When whoever you need to speak with is just a call or text away. Long distance relationships, text-only relationships and online dating are a thing now. Though not ideal, a lot of successful relationships are thriving without physically being together. The internet has removed the barrier of distance and made the world a global village.
4. Made finding "the one" easier
Ending up with "the one", your soul mate is every romantic's dream. Before technology, this was only limited to the people you meet or those around you. The digital era has placed the world in a way at your feet, the world is literally your dating pool! You can find your Mr or Mrs Right anywhere in the world.
Now let's look at the negative effects of technology on relationships.
1. Lack of trust
Social Media is littered with posts asking "do you check you partner's phone?" Comments under such posts reveal that a lot of people grow suspicious when their spouse denies them access to their phones. People are always uncomfortable when their partner spends too much time on a call, is always texting/chatting, does not pick their calls and so many more.
2. Made cheating easy
It is very easy to cheat these days. With your mobile phone, you can do anything from flirting, wooing and even proposals; the only thing you can't do is make babies online (lol). People find it easy to cheat with the vast resources of the internet and technology at their disposal. I mean you can fully manage multiple relationships at times with full commitment. There are numerous stories where a man would have a secret family and his spouse would never find out. Boys and girls can juggle multiple partners at the same time too.
3. Being caught can be easy too
Technology yes, created more room for cheating, but it has also made it easy to catch a cheating partner. There is this tweet making rounds about a man who took it upon himself to inform his fellow man about his girlfriend's cheating activities that someone else tweeted about after overhearing the girl friend's conversation in a taxi. Well, the relationship ended.
4. Reduced the value of relationships.
A lot of relationships now live for the public eye. People rush to make videos and pictures of things that are supposed to be intimate or private and put it up for the world to see. It's as if we are no more living for ourselves anymore, we are trying to live for the internet and social media. Like, you buy gifts for a loved one and your focus is getting a reaction for social media. Really? (smh)
5. Encouraged negative vices like stalking and fraud.
Stalking is Uber easy with technology. There are cameras everywhere, we post our life on social media, our work places have our details online. The digital era is a gold mine for a stalker. Fraud is increasingly becoming an issue, and the internet makes it easy for defaulters to disappear after duping innocent people.
6. False sense of security/familiarity
80% of date rapes and murder started online. Studies have shown that people tend to share their personal information easily online. Anyone can craft an online identity that is very different from who they are in real life. Someone unlucky might start chatting with such a person and before you know it, they've exchanged phone contacts and started having late night phone calls. A lot of people have died this way. You feel comfortable going to a secluded area with someone you're just meeting because you've been chatting online and feel like you know the person (e go shock you)
Not everything about technology is bad, infact the benefits outweighs the disadvantages. The internet offers us opportunities to connect with the world, and share love around. As to the question asking if technology is a blessing or curse to romantic relationships? I guess it's up to you dear reader. How do you utilize the internet? How far do you let it affect your relationship? So, as you smell those roses and sink into that warm hug, do your best to utilize the positive opportunities the digital era offers to better your relationship. Happy Valentine, With looooots of love from Extrigs!
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