Published on July 14th, 2016 | by James Simpson
Is Tech Making Relationships Better or Worse?
There’s been a bit of a buzz of late about online dating sites. These sites came out of nowhere to literally transform our lives. A few years ago, nobody met on dating sites. Now every other married couple met on a dating site. It seems as if technology is making our relationships better. But could it be making our relationships worse? It’s a tough question. And not one that hasn’t garnered considerable attention.
There seems to be a big divide out there between two sets of people. One group of people sees technology as something that makes communication easier. The other sees it as something that intrudes on how an organic relationship would develop naturally. Whatever the case, it is having a significant impact on our relationships.
It Changes Our Genes
Right now there’s a lot of chatter about epigenetics. This is the idea that our life experiences can affect the expression of our genes. For instance, kids who are traumatised will express different genes to children who are not.
Now scientists are saying that the way that we communicate can also change our genes. All the new disruptive tech that’s come down the pipeline in recent years could be having an effect already. Social media, Facebook, and YouTube could, in theory, be changing how we’re made. After all, our epigenetics changed in the past when humans invented the alphabet.
Social Media Accelerates Our Relationships
Social media has the capacity to increase the pace at which we can have relationships. Online, people are closed off from the rest of the things that make reality messy. For instance, it wouldn’t be convenient to chat with somebody you don’t know in your home. But you can spend all night doing just that in cyberspace.
But social media also helps people, especially men, who feel inhibited when they talk to women. In other words, individuals who don’t flourish in romantic situations get a leg up on the relationship ladder. This post explains the topic really well.
Online Dating Delays Real Life Dates
Online dating is a lot of fun for many reasons. But one of the unforeseen consequences of online dating is the delay before the real-life date. The delay seems to come from the fact that people get a kick out of fantasising about the other person. They know, deep down, that they’re probably not perfect. But that doesn’t stop them from wanting to entertain the idea. And the desire to entertain the idea that they are the most incredible thing ever keeps them from meeting up.
A lot of experienced daters will quickly end relationships when it’s clear that they won’t work. But less experienced daters often find themselves wanting to continue the charade for longer. It’s just too tempting to think that the person on the other side of the chat box is “the one.”
Tech Helps The LGBT Get Connected
The LGBT community has traditionally had to meet in the dedicated bars and clubs. But thanks to the internet, this has changed immeasurably. Now LGBT young adults can meet in online communities. And it’s not just romantic relationships that they’re after. They are also looking for support from an online community of similar people.
The online environment has allowed LGBT young adults to express more than their desire to find a date. Many have taken to online platforms to share stories about their life experiences. These essays and blogs are an important way for individuals in the community to process their sexuality and experiences. The community is also permanent, which, again, builds security.
Tech Is Changing How People Mourn
In the past, people we remembered through stories. Then later, they were remembered through photos and, possibly, video. But now, thanks to social media, we have entire trails of data relating to individuals. In fact, these trails are often so rich that it’s possible to reconstruct a lot about that person.
One way that people are now being remembered is through virtual pages. These pages are like the memorials of yesteryear. But they’re able to contain much more information about the deceased. These memorial pages have become something of a shrine and allow for a continuing bond with that person.
Parents of deceased children are also turning to technology to remember them. One thing that they are doing is keeping their cell phones. Their cell phones contain lots of interesting information about them, including the sound of their voice. Voices are one of the first memories to disappear, so having a record is important.