Technology and Relationships — Is it a recipe for disaster?

We’ve been living in the “on to the next one” paradigm since the launch of Tinder in 2012, breaking relationships at the first sign of miscommunication. The swipe culture’s influence extends well beyond that. We lean on the comfort of emoji, likes, and instant messaging instead of seeing people offline, talking to them, and discussing matters face to face. Cheating has become more common and stories of digital abuse have become much more recurrent. Is it true that technology has permanently damaged relationships?

Communication Breakdowns

Dating apps have become a fertile field for harassment and cyberbullying, in addition to a huge breakdown in communication. For example, over 60% of women who use dating apps claim to be receiving sexually graphic photographs that they haven’t requested. Meanwhile, 35 percent and 10 percent of dating app users, respectively, have been called an abusive term or have been threatened with physical harm.

Digital Abuse

Using technology to harass and abuse people has become more frequent in the age of smartphones and smart homes. The use of technology to harass or threaten someone is known as digital abuse. It can happen at any stage of a relationship and to people of any age, although it is more likely among teenagers and young adults who use technology more frequently. It can also happen outside of intimate partner situations, such as when someone on a dating website harasses you. The following are examples of signs of digital abuse:

  • Bullying and harassment: Tagging you in harmful posts or images; sending abusive or threatening SMS or social media messages; sharing embarrassing photos of you.
  • Monitoring and stalking: Trying to steal or demand your credentials; going through your phone or computer without your permission; monitoring and tracking you via location tagging or spyware; posing as you on the internet; to scare you by remotely managing your smart home devices.
  • Sexual coercion: Requiring you to take or submit explicit photos or recordings with which you are uncomfortable; sending you explicit photos or videos without your agreement; sharing your photos or videos with others; capturing photos or videos of you without your permission.
  • Possessiveness and control: Choosing who you can follow or be friends with on social media; restricting who you can text or message; requiring your continual attention through technology; making you feel insecure if you don’t respond to messages right away.

Technology has made Cheating a Social Norm

According to Statistic Brain’s research, 57 percent of men and 54 percent of women acknowledged having been unfaithful in every relationship they’ve ever had. When 57 percent of men and 54 percent of women admit to cheating, it appears to be widespread. People may now build a protected secret world using technology by downloading apps like Hide my Calls or Hide my Texts, which make it extremely enticing to find people nearby and arrange a quick rendezvous at their leisure. Would you consider it cheating if your significant other is continually texting or directly contacting someone else, even if they’ve never had physical contact? Emotional infidelity exists and has the potential to ruin a relationship just as much as physical infidelity.

Social Media Addiction is a Marriage Killer

Addiction can quickly ruin a marriage, whether it’s to social media, food, drink, drugs, shopping, or gambling. Your addiction gradually turns into a third party in your relationship. It’s especially true if you’re addicted to the rush of a new relationship — even if it’s just an online or emotional affair with no sex. Your time together as a relationship will be hampered if you are overly reliant on social media. When you could be with your lover, it’s a bad idea to be on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. Allowing your phone to entice you into neglecting your relationship is not a good idea.

Lower Efforts in Courting

Picking up the phone and asking somebody on a date required confidence, strategic planning, and a significant investment of ego in traditional romance. Texting, e-mail, and Twitter, on the other hand, take away a lot of the need for charm; it’s more like casting a line in the ocean and hoping for a bite. To put it another way, technology has turned every single person into a lazy fisherman with ten lines in the water instead of a single soul mate. The first date has been wrecked by Facebook. We’ve stalked ourselves out of small chat on Facebook. Because it provides a false sense of intimacy, online research makes the initial date seem unimportant.

AI as a relationship facilitator, not a replacement

Like most significant disputes in the history of technology, the discussion over digital and robotic “love” is polarized. Consensus is usually established somewhere near the middle.

However, it appears that technology is progressing faster than we are nearing an agreement in this argument. In general, the most beneficial relationship a person can have with technology is one in which the person is in charge and the technology aids them in improving their experiences. It is dehumanizing for technology to be in charge

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