No matter how we feel about it, technology is a big part of our lives. It impacts the work we do, how we get around in the world, and our interactions with other people. For most of us, romance and tech are intertwined, at least in some ways. We use it to meet people, engage in conversations, and plan our interactions.
Thanks to tech, it can be easier to form romantic relationships and stay connected. That said, the very same tech can serve to undermine those same connections and communications.
It isn’t difficult to find articles, editorials, or blog posts decrying the evils of technology. Many of those make valid points, even if they do skew towards crotchety and slightly fictionalized nostalgia. Meanwhile, technology has also improved the way we relate romantically, and that’s not discussed very often. It’s important to understand the positives of technology so people can integrate it in positive ways.
While people have navigated long-distance romance without technology, it certainly helps. A love letter gives a lonely lover something to look forward to, but they could be waiting for that for days. Thanks to technology, that same loving message can be delivered via email in seconds.
That’s just one example. Modern technology has brought us video chats, messaging, and social media. Even online gaming gives long-distance couples a way to enjoy a fun date night together no matter where they are in the world.
Think back to the first argument you had with the person you are dating right now. Chances are, poor communication was a factor. It almost always is.
Often, the biggest contributor to this is a difference in communication style. For example, you are a verbal communicator. Your impulse is to pick up the phone or have a face-to-face. On the other hand, your partner struggles with this, especially when there is any sort of conflict. They can’t gather their thoughts and end up feeling overwhelmed and bullied.
How does tech fix this? If both of you can give some ground and respect how the other communicates, you can find tech tools that work for both of you. Imagine your partner sending you an email laying out their thoughts and feelings without feeling overwhelmed. Later, you can process what they’ve said, and connect with them on FaceTime to share your perspectives.
Today, more couples than ever are meeting each other and starting their relationships online. Unfortunately, this has led to some horrible outcomes for a small number of people. That’s something that alarmists will use to claim that online dating is unsafe.
In truth, technology can make dating safer than it ever was. Just think about dating without technology. Often, you are immediately thrown into a situation where you are spending time alone with a person in real life without knowing them all that well. Now, consider what technology brings to the table:
- You can use tech to verify the identity and background of people you date
- Good dating apps vet their users and provide a way to report alarming behavior
- You can connect with someone on social media and slowly move to more intimate forms of communication as trust grows
- Couples can get to know one another virtually until they decide to meet in person
When that in-person date finally happens, there are personal safety apps to add an additional layer of confidence and security.
Even if you strongly believe that technology makes romance and dating better, you must acknowledge its drawbacks. Denial only makes these problematic issues worse.
Some people use technology to connect or as a source of entertainment. Unfortunately, it can be tempting to use devices as a way to avoid people and become isolated. This can make conflicts worse, and damage your mental wellbeing.
The term golf widow is used to describe a woman who doesn’t get to spend quality time with her husband because he is too busy golfing. Of course, you could replace golf with fishing, drinking, or working long hours. Also, this phenomenon isn’t limited to men. Women can also ignore their romantic relationships in favor of their obsessions.
Sadly, technology is now the main culprit when people fail to make their romantic partner a priority. Instead of golf it’s social media, online porn, and gaming.
Tech has shortened our collective attention span. We expect immediate answers and instant gratification. Those things are hard to come by in person-to-person interactions. So, we find ourselves reaching for our devices rather than focusing on the person right in front of us.
Today, polarizing views on political and social issues have driven a wedge between friends, lovers, and family members. Worse, there are online communities and popular personalities that seem to thrive on these divisions. Tech has allowed this problem to grow and given space to those who exist only to spread hateful ideologies.
How does this impact dating and romance? Simply put, people are losing their connections with people they love as they see them being drawn into extreme and harmful belief systems. Dating relationships and even marriages have ended because people become so involved in these bias-confirming echo chambers that communicating with them becomes an impossibility.
Despite the risks, it is absolutely possible to make technology work in your favor as you navigate the dating world. If you don’t trust our words, go here and check it out by yourself! You simply have to be honest with yourself about your susceptibility to its negative impacts, and use tech in a rigorously conscious manner.