Technology has become part and parcel of our daily lives. Thanks to the way it has brought about many positive changes in how we communicate and connect with others. From booking tickets to calling pizzas at home, to listening to music and watching movies, the list is long. However, it has also had some negative effects on our relationships. The way it has secluded people in their shells, it has had a bitter impact on our relationships. So, at this juncture, when we are surrounded by blissful technologies around our lives, it’s time to explore how technology is hampering relationships. And we do not end here, and we also explore some steps we can take to mitigate its negative impact.
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David Schramm Survey – ‘Technoference’
David Schramm is an associate professor of family, consumer, and human development at Utah State University. One of his areas of research is the impact of technology on relationships, specifically the concept of “technoference.”
- Technoference refers to the interference of technology in everyday life and relationships. Schramm and his colleagues have conducted several studies on technoference, looking at how technology use affects relationship satisfaction, communication, and conflict in couples and families.
- In his study, Schramm and his team surveyed over 500 couples and found that higher levels of technology use were associated with lower relationship satisfaction and greater conflict. They also found that when one partner’s technology interfered with their time together (e.g. checking their phone during a conversation), it was linked to even lower relationship satisfaction.
- Another study by Schramm and his team examined the impact of technology use on communication in couples. They found that when partners reported high levels of technoference, it was associated with lower-quality communication, including less intimacy and less positivity in conversations.
In summary, David Schramm and his colleagues’ research suggests that when technology interferes with our daily life and relationships, it can lead to lower relationship satisfaction, greater conflict, and lower-quality communication. It is important to be aware of the potential adverse effects of technology on our relationships and make an effort to limit technoference in our daily lives.
How Technology is Hampering the Relationship?
If you think I hate technology, think again, it’s just excessive use can ruin things, and so is relationships. A few ways we see technology has ruined our relationships are summed up as under:
Cause of Distraction
One of the main ways technology is hampering relationships is by creating distractions that prevent us from fully engaging with the people around us. For example, when we are in the middle of a conversation with someone, it is all too easy to pull out our phones and check our messages or scroll through social media. They call it phubbing and we all love it, which is nothing but distraction. This takes away from the conversation at hand and sends the message to the other person that they are not as important as whatever is happening on our phone.
Breaking Down the Personal Connect
Do you realize the excessive use of technology is badly hampering relationships by making it easier for us to avoid face-to-face interactions. With the rise of social media and messaging apps, it is now possible to communicate with people all over the world without ever having to leave the comfort of our own home. While this has benefits, it can also lead to a lack of personal connection and emotional intimacy in our relationships.
Erosion of Empathy & Emotional Intelligence
It is disheartening to see how technology can also contribute to the erosion of empathy and emotional intelligence. Social media and messaging apps, for instance, can make it easier for people to express themselves in a way that is not authentic, as well as to be more critical and judgmental of others. This can make it harder for us to understand and connect with others on an emotional level.
Mitigate the negative impact of technology: Few Steps
To mitigate the negative impact of technology on our relationships, we need to be mindful of how we use it and make an effort to limit our distractions and focus on the people around us. This can be as simple as putting our phones away during conversations or turning off notifications when we are spending time with loved ones.
Increase Physical Meetings & Interactions
We should also make an effort to have more face-to-face interactions, whether it’s by meeting up with friends and family in person or scheduling regular video chats. This will help to create a deeper sense of connection and intimacy in our relationships.
It’s also important to be honest and authentic when using technology to communicate with others. This means being true to ourselves and not pretending to be someone we are not. Additionally, we should be mindful of our tone and language when communicating online, as it can be easy to misinterpret or misinterpret others.
Finally, it’s essential to be aware of how technology is affecting our emotions and empathy and making an effort to develop our emotional intelligence. This could mean taking a break from social media or messaging apps or simply being more mindful of how we interact with others online.
Technology has brought many positive changes to our lives, but it has also negatively affected our relationships. By being mindful of how we use technology, limiting our distractions, and making an effort to have more face-to-face interactions, we can mitigate the negative impact of technology on our relationships and strengthen our connections with others.
Mohd Ziyaullah Khan
Content Head, Asst. manager, Digital marketing team at an MNC company IT park Nagpur