Long are the days where men would write heartfelt, hand written notes to women, asking their parents for permission to take their daughters out on a date and promising to have them back by curfew. Now-a-days, it should not come off as a surprise the moment someone decides to “slide into your DMs” or shoot you a text asking if you want to “Netflix and chill.” Technology may offer quick and what seems to be convenient communication, but that communication might just be toxic when it comes to the destruction of relationships. How can we sit here and complain on social media about the problems we face with our partners over a Facebook status, yet fail to talk those issues out with them face-to-face?
According to studies conducted by Pew Internet, 50% of teens have let someone know they were interested in them romantically by friending them on Facebook or another social media site, and 47% have expressed their attraction by liking, commenting or otherwise interacting with that person on social media.” This defeats the overall purpose of dating. Remember when dating was getting to know someone by going out and having a conversation with them, eye contact included and all? It is easy to look up someone online and show your affection through constant ‘likes’, but finding the courage to communicate properly with someone in person should not be the challenging part. This should actually be a breeze.
High tech devices and social media accounts are responsible for putting up these barriers between people. Our generation suddenly feels the need to carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go. From the bathroom, to the bedroom- they are always glued to our hands. Because of this, we are unable to give our undivided attention to our partners. Imagine a world where we didn’t feel obligated to Instagram our breakfast, lunch, and dinner when we went out to eat. Or, if we actually went to a concert and enjoyed our favorite band and the presence of our partner, rather than watching the whole show through our tiny smart phone cameras. These phones are becoming nothing but an unfortunate and pathetic distraction. DailyMail shared that “psychologists have claimed that increasing numbers of people in long-term partnerships are having to compete with their partner’s smartphone for attention, making it the ‘third wheel’ in their relationship.” You can easily prevent technology from being a home wrecker, as long as you remember to stay mindful of two important things.
When you are spending quality time with your significant other, try to keep your phone off or put it in the other room. This is the easiest method to avoid those annoying interruptions. For instance, the flood of notifications that are only going to tempt you to look at your cellular device. Let’s be honest, your primary focus should be your partner anyway. Live in the moment, enjoy one another’s presence, and cherish the fact that you get to physically be together for the time being. I have faith that you will survive a few hours without scrolling through your Twitter timeline.
Secondly, understand that texting is not actually meant for holding these deep, meaningful conversations. The messages you send on your phone are supposed to be short, sweet, and to the point. When you send novels through a text, your words become impersonal. Text messaging is not supposed to be a replacement for direct communication either. Whatever you decide to say via text, you should have no issue saying to your partner face-to-face as well. The main problem with texting is emotions are poorly displayed, meaning words can easily become misconstrued.
Although technology will continue to advance as time goes on, we have remember that we are human beings, not robots. Relationships will remain their healthiest as long as there is strong, physical interaction involved. Intimacy cannot be created through social media, the Internet, or any fancy high-tech tablet for that matter. Intimate relationships are one of the keys aspects of life that make us organic and technology will never be able to reproduce that.