Effectsof Technology on Relationships
Technologyis a broad term describing the numerous avenues and mediums, throughwhich people communicate, share, and exchange information on the webor virtually. Various technological advancements like smart phones,blogs, microblogs, instant messaging applications, and the internethave changed in a significant way the culture of communication andhaving social dialogues across the varied generations. According toKaplan and Haenlein,communicating through social media has become the main use of theinternet globally and the number of users is projected to be on therise at an alarming rate in the near future (61). In addition,Sheldon asserts that the fact that most people are becoming sodependent on the social media has created very critical impact in ourmodern life both socially and economically in both positive andnegative way (44). The internet through the social media and emergingtechnologies has created a worldwide connection that has neverexisted before, but not without significant implications on bothinterpersonal communications and or relationships.
Sincethe emergence and dispersion of this addictive technological use issomething that will be around for now and in the future, there isneed for one to understand deeply the implications of the latter onour social life. Many scholars have in the past researched on thenegative and positive impact of technology and social media, thereason why most people are so attracted to it, its impact on theindividual users and the impact on the general community at large. Inthis regards, the imperative question is what are the positive andnegative implications of the development and use of technology onpeople’s relationships and social lives?
Thesisstatement: Itis indispensable to offer an explanation on thepositiveand negative consequences of the increasing technology and theextensive use of the social media, instant messaging, and cell phonesin people’s social lives, with much emphasis on its effects inrelationships
Asdays go by, new technology related to communication is beingdeveloped. This is an aspect that is giving many people theimpression that technology through the social media is getting themmore connected to not only the people around them, but also all overaround the globe (Miczo,Mariani, and Donahue17). Technology is not only enhancing communication and sharinginformation, but is as well creating a platform for the users to doalmost entirely everything humanly possible in the virtual space(Montalvo93).As many who view it as a medium of global socialization are embracingthis impression, other sees it as a medium of creating socialisolation especially on the previously stable relationship.
Currently,the frequency of social media and popularity is equated with thenumber of likes and the duration a user stays connected online withother users (Porteret al 36).The more a user stays using social media, the followers and peopleliking and commenting on one’s thread, the more connected andpurposeful one feels. According toRoberts et al,several factors drive the almost addictive use of the social media.These being to maintain relationships, to pass time, help one feelimportant, for entertainment and to enhance extensive communication(151). Of the factors listed above, relationship maintenance playsthe most vital role in as far as the social media use is concerned.
Technology,Social media and relationship
Today,social media and other web related sites are the leading interactivesite since the changes in the modern communication facilities weredeveloped. Bowman et al. assert that instant messaging applicationshave allowed people to interact virtually in an extensive manner,which has shrunk real life interactions (929). Although some of theseapplications have allowed people from far-flung places to interact,they have also affected people’s social development negatively.With the rising technology are numerous changes that have taken placein what was regarded as the normal and conventional manner ofcommunication and relating (Coyneet al 155).Other than at inter-personal level, there exists not a greatcorrelation between relationship satisfaction and communication innew technology especially romantically speaking. As the social mediacreate a platform for sharing and exchanging information across theindividuals and the community as well, it creates an unprecedentedexposure of the individual user’s personality (Kaplanand Haenlein,62). Technology can help to either create a relationship or breakone. For instance, research in America has shown that over 45% of theyoung adults have personal relationship issues, caused by over usingthe mobile phones, smart phones and tabs (Roberts et al 151 Evanova16). Similarly, research has shown that the social media use amongst theold adults has serious positive impact in enhancing theirrelationship and communication.
Over56% of this group uses the social media to communicate and bridge thedistance gap, thus enhancing their personal relationship. Most of thesocial media users are using the platform to communicate unpleasantmessages to their contacts and partners, an act they could not do ata personally physical level (Montalvo 94 Coyneet al 158).This kind of disguise is seen to be dangerous since it is mostlycreating regrettable characters who make unwarranted rush commentsand later regret them yet, cannot undo the act. This kind of technobrush off is an example of the negative impact of the social mediaand technology not only relationships but also time managementespecially by students.
Socialmedia and instant messaging such as WhatsApp, Viber, Wechat and havea great impact in as far as, inter-personal relationships areconcerned. It is arguably not vital for partners in a relationship tobe present to either initiate and or end a relationship sincetechnology and the social media are acting as the mediators. Thisinstance exemplifies the role of the social media and technology inthe personal relationship in the modern society. The quality ofrelationship is in a major way being influenced by modern technologyand it is wise to understand in which way, whether in the long orshort term, they impact on relationships.
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