In this era of technology and information-driven processes, it is easy to see how relationships have become inherently entwined with technology. We rely on technology to communicate with others. Consider the ways we use technologies such as email, messengers, social media and other applications on a daily basis to keep in touch with others.
If not by computer, it is a phone or other mobile devices which connect us. This gives us the opportunity to keep in close contact with loved ones, friends and business associates at any given hour of the day. The majority of the global population is touched by technology in some shape or form, all of which directly touch our relationships.
Ways Tech Increases Accessibility
There are many ways tech has positively enhanced our lives. These days we communicate with our family and friends with ease and accessibility. Distance no longer matters. We don’t have to wait until late night or weekends to give our loved ones a ring on the phone when rates are cheaper. Mobile and Internet services are also coming down in price. Many public spaces offer free Wi-Fi. Accessibility is not the problem it once was when trying to keep in touch with others.
High Degree of Flexibility
If we can’t come into work because of personal reasons, often our employers allow us to telecommute and get our work done. Technology offers a lot of flexibility and, as a result, we’re usually kept pretty up to date on what’s going on in our personal and professional lives. No more worries about where a family member is when they get stuck in traffic or a flight delay. Years ago, it might have sent us worrying if there was an accident. Today we’re “in the know” and this is beneficial for the most part.
What are the Negative Effects on Relationships?
Yet, in some ways, it has negatively impacted relationships. Sometimes complacency has set in and, as a result, we’ve become too reliant on technology. Many feel it’s tragic when their computer service is down or a mobile phone battery dies. “What if someone needs to reach me? people worry. Years ago, we managed, but today this seems to be impossible.
Accessibility has become so second nature to us to the point it often takes priority. How many people are more concerned with their phone ringing than concentrating on the road? Or those that interrupt driving, meetings or social events to spend time tinkering away on those “must respond” text messages they receive? Is it really of high importance to message a friend non-stop about this weekend’s plans while supposed to be working? All of these issues negatively impact relationships with our friends, family, and employers; it also impacts our societal relations when we use bad etiquette as we use our technology devices.
Technology is here to stay, and to keep the positives outweighing the negatives, it’s important to try and maintain equilibrium between the two. We can discriminately choose to highlight the positives and effectively reduce the negatives and derive the positives from technology to augment our relationships.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.