Effectsof Communication Technology on Relationships
Thegrowing use of technology in communication has affected socialrelationships in various ways, both positively and negatively.Improved communication through t hues of cell phones and shortmessage system facilitates the exchange of information with ease. Itbreaks the barrier of physical distance and delay since people cantalk to their partners even if they are far way. On the other side,it has reduced the value of personal contact since people do not findthe essence of often meeting if they can call or send a text fromtheir mobile phones or communicate through the social media. Thispaper will look at the evidence given by various authors on theeffects of the use of technology on personality relationships.
Hayman,a professor of psychology at Western Washington University introducesus to the benefits associated with the use of communicationtechnology on relationships. According to him, the use of mobilephones intensifies communication between two parties. The numbers oftimes that people talk or text are more than when people used otherconventional means like letters of personal contact. The tendencystrengthens relationships (Hayman). In a comparative study todetermine whether texting ruins relationships, McGee found out thatthe number of relationship breakups associated with the use of textsis insignificant. The results of his study confirm that texting playsa very important role in strengthening relationships (McGee 57).
Goginconcurs with Hayman that the use of mobile phones improves the valueof relationships (65). The short messaging culture provides peoplewith a chance to the contextual moments due to the immediate deliveryand feedback. Couples who are miles apart can use SMS to communicatelike they were together. The low cost of sending messages and theoffers given by network providers provides people with an unlimitedtime of chat through SMS. Relationships, therefore, become strongerdue to the improved communication (Gogin 66).
Luoand Shelley conducted a research on 395 participants to determine theeffects of texting and calling on romantic relationships amongcollege students. From his findings, he found a direct link betweentexting and increased attachment between romantic lovers. Partnerscan text anytime they feel like and they can do it all day and it islie they spend the day together (673). In another parallel study,Lou found out that texting improves satisfaction in a relationship.Through communication members feel loved close to their partners evenwhen they are far away. Trough the mobile phone they can shareeveryday experiences and problems. When people enter intorelationships, they look forward to finding people they can trust andconfide with when they are in problems. When there is the platform ofsharing that they will be satisfied. Mobile phones provide such aplatform through calls and SMS (Lou 147).
Halland Baym, however, counteract the advantages that mobile phone usehas on the value of relationships (317). The two authors provideinformation that increased use of the gadgets increases dependence oncommunicating from a distance and this devalues the value of face toface communication. Some of the phones have applications that supportsocial media platforms that create a trap whereby people enterunknowingly. As long as they can call, they find no need to see theirpartners regularly. It is, therefore, possible for one partner to lieabout their whereabouts to please the other party. Since physicalcontact helps people to learn about each other behaviors thatconsequently improve the nature of relationships, its loss of valueis detrimental to relationships (Hall and Baym 318).
Thevalue of information quality is also on the verge of beingcompromised by the use of social media like Facebook, twitter amongothers (Romero et al. 119). When people communicate, theircommitment to their information may be known by their non-verbalcues. Through the phone, it is sometimes difficult for partners totell whether the other party is committal or not. According toPrzybylskiand Netta, this reduces the value of connection, closeness andconversation quality (238). When it comes to the discussion ofsensitive topics, partners would rather do it face to face. When theycall or text, they are likely o switch off from the topics that theyare not comfortable while the other party may be entitled to know theopinion of his/he partner (245).
Theauthors’ findings concur with Miller-Ott et al. who conducted astudy on the effects of the use of the mobile phones on romanticrelationships satisfaction. According to him, when people us themobile phone to communicate every day, they develop an expectationthat the other partner has to be available all the time. It affectstheir valuation of physical connection since they can meet most oftheir needs from a distance.
Inconclusion, the changing nature of people’s occupation and lifepatterns may not allow people to meet every day (Herson 5). Distanceprompts people to use the available technology to get in touch withtheir partners. However, the intensified use of mobile phones shouldnot hinder or devalue the essence of face to face communication. Ifpeople create a balance between the two, relationships will becomestronger.
Goggin,Gerard. CellPhone Culture: Mobile Technology in Everyday Life.New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Hall,Jeffrey A., and Baym, Nancy. "Calling and texting (too much):Mobile maintenance expectations,(over) dependence, entrapment, andfriendship satisfaction." NewMedia & Society14.2 (2012): 316-331. Print.
Hayman,Ira. Cell phones are changing social interactions. PsychologyToday.2015. Web.
Herson,Melanie. Don’tLeave Me Hanging.Diss. University of Michigan, 2012. Print.
Luo,Shanhong, and Shelley Tuney. "Can texting be used to improveromantic relationships?—The effects of sending positive textmessages on relationship satisfaction." Computersin Human Behavior49 (2015): 670-678. Print.
Luo,Shanhong. "Effects of texting on satisfaction in romanticrelationships: The role of attachment." Computersin Human Behavior33 (2014): 145-152. Print.
McGee,Michael J. "Is Texting Ruining Intimacy? Exploring PerceptionsAmong Sexuality Students in Higher Education." AmericanJournal of Sexuality Education9.4 (2014). 56-65. Print.
Miller-Ott,Aimee E., Lynne Kelly, and Robert L. Duran. "The effects of cellphone usage rules on satisfaction in romantic relationships."CommunicationQuarterly60.1 (2012): 17-34.
Przybylski,Andrew K., and Netta Weinstein. "Can you connect with me now?How the presence of mobile communication technology influencesface-to-face conversation quality." Journalof Social and Personal Relationships30.3 (2013): 237-246. Print.
Romero,Daniel M., Wojciech Galuba, Sitaram Asur, and Bernardo A. Huberman"Influence and passivity in social media." Machinelearning and knowledge discovery in databases.Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011. 18-33. Print.