“As we spend more and more time snuggled up with our smartphones, laptops, and tablets, a big question looms: Are these devices bringing us closer together or further apart?”
I read this question recently in a feature by WebMD (www.webmd.com) and it got me thinking a lot about the impact of technology on our relationships.
Just today, I was listening to a radio talk show on spouses who monitored their partners’ phones for signs of cheating. It was a never-ending debate between those who thought it was necessary and those who believed it should never be done.
The online article and the radio talk show offered two different perspectives on the issue; does technology rob us of precious time with our loved ones? And how does technology affect the components of healthy relationships such as trust, mutual respect, good communication, common interests, absence of physical violence, intimacy and independence?
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that, just like all the things in life that took time and attention away from our loved ones (such as work and other responsibilities, distance, personal interests etc), we can purposely turn technology to actually benefit our loved ones instead of hurting them.
But just like any other addiction, addiction to technology can take away the very things we need to nurture healthy relationships; time, trust, money, peace, joy, stability and hope.
The way to tell the difference is to ask yourself if are you using technology to fill a void within yourself. Examine yourself and understand what role technology plays in your life. Is it an escape from your problems? Is it a tool for your personal progress? Is it an enabler for harmful habits? Is it part of an attempt to fill a certain void?
The more you look within yourself, the more you will understand what you need. And maybe what you need is already there.