How Technology Affects Our Relationships

HowTechnologyAffectsOurRelationships

You start your day by checking email, skimming the latest headlines, and posting something ambiguous. Then, you spend the rest of your day texting, messaging, browsing, posting, updating, tweeting, watching, and sharing. Sound familiar?

We have the ability to connect with people instantly at our fingertips. Ironically, by being connected, we’re also disconnected. Our social behaviors have taken a toll since we decided to place a screen in the middle of our interactions.

While busy on our devices, the world gets our divided attention. One of my college instructors coined the term, “pizzle moment.” It’s where face-to-face communication is interrupted the moment we turn our attention to a screen. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of the pizzle moment on a daily hourly basis.

Although we conveniently turn to devices for our social needs, we primally yearn for physical interaction. The problem is, like our devices, we now expect our relationships to be just as fast and brief. Thus, diminishing the quality of human interaction.

Too often we develop shallow friendships with people who share a common interest and/or friend, without engaging in meaningful discussion. Too often we hide behind a screen to avoid pain and confrontation when there’s a lot to gain from doing so.

Privacy, sincerity, and personalization is what’s lacking in today’s interactions. It boils down to selfishness. On top of being a bit vain and telling everyone our business, we tend to only communicate with others when we need something. Even holiday greetings aren’t as meaningful anymore. Sending out those generic mass messages lacks the personal touch of a call or card.

Instant messaging and texting take the gold for most misinterpretation. Most of the time, instead of asking for clarification (or calling), we automatically assume when words get misinterpreted. When we assume, we end up being more distrustful or upset by people’s words online and offline. Sometimes I think that people forgot the primary function of a phone.

Now, this all doesn’t mean we should go back to the way we communicated 50 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, there were some inconveniences in communication back then that our technological advances have solved. In order to stay in touch today, we have to keep up with the times whether we like it or not. It’s like owning only a VCR and trying to buy the latest movie that came out. We’re kind of forced to conform to whatever’s new. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. DVDs and BluRay discs are lighter, compact, and have higher clarity. But I digress.

What all this does mean though is that we need to learn how to balance our offline and online communication. Make yourself available in a variety of ways and know when each method is appropriate. Until we have computers that can raise babies, technology should only supplement our relationships.

About Ronnell Morris

Ronnell is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NWYT. She is a copywriter by day, a performer by night, and a triathlete by weekend. She loves Disney, musicals, eating, YouTube videos, list-making, and the colors pink and gray too much for her own good. See All of Ronnell's Posts

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