The world population as at now is over 7.71 billion. Out of this population, almost 3.8 billion people use the internet. 2.8 billion people are on social media. In the modern age, technology is part of almost everything that humans do every day in daily life.
Therefore, it is not surprising that social media is affecting relationships and cultures all over the world. The internet has enhanced instant communication with anyone around the world virtually at any time. Consequently, social media has come and offered people an online platform to connect with others.
If you have a relationship that you want to maintain, be it family ties, friendship or romance, that technology has made it easier to remain in touch. But is there a possibility of overindulging or getting carried away? Some of the ways in which technology hurts and helps relationships include the following.
Pros of digital life
- Bridging the gap
Proximity is actually no longer an issue when it comes to communicating with loved ones. All this can be attributed to the technology that facilitated instant and easy communication even with individuals who are miles away. Regardless of whether it is through social media or video chat media, there are numerous ways to keep touch even with great distance between people.
- Develops communities
When living in large cities, you might easily find people with backgrounds or interests similar to yours. In rural areas, even small differences can isolate people. The internet, however, creates the possibility of connecting with people who are in similar situations. This is regardless of whether it is a playful group of people who love a challenging video game or a more serious group of cancer support. Digital life ensures everyone belongs somewhere, even if in reality you are a loner or an outsider.
- Soft introductions
Social anxiety is an issue for many. This presents a challenge for getting to know people in a comfortable setting. Mobiles and computers alleviate this anxiety by offering a platform, where communication can take place at somebody’s pace. This way, someone gets time to digest a message and take their time before sending feedback. Even if online interactions can never replace one-on-one introductions, they can act as a stepping stone to help the shy ones connect with others.
It has become a norm to interact through digital media as opposed to having one-on-one conversations. This is happening even when the parties involved are in close proximity. Unconsciously checking phones and computers can actually become a habit and this is why apps have been developed to track and monitor how often users check phones. As a result, this limits daily usage, giving you more control. Therefore, while digital life has its good and bad sides, the most important thing is to strike a balance. Perform self-evaluation on a daily basis to know how long in a day you are on the phone or with the computer and how long in a day you interact with loved ones.
Hiding behind technology
Just like digital life provides a shield to introverts, making them bolder, it offers the same shield to extroverts, where they hide and they can become too bold. Digital life gives people a platform to air views that are impossible to utter in person. As a result, social platforms host tense feelings and discussions without any facial expressions or tone of voice. Therefore, people are meaner than expected or intended. This has facilitated cyber-bullying through anonymous profiles on large social platforms.
Can we conclude that technology is good or bad with regard to relationships? Probably not. It is something that can improve or harm relationships. Just like numerous things in this life, its impact is determined by how you use it. Love in a time of Social media: 5 ways to bring back intimacy into relationships
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