Technology today has helped change our small world into a global community. It’s been a blessing that has helped many people move forward with their lives during the pandemic. However, when people engage more with their phones than their loved ones, screen time can be harmful and destructive.
The key to benefiting from a connected world is to know how to balance your tech usage with other areas of your life. To do this, we must know what hazards to avoid when using technology.
How does technology impact modern relationships? Not all of the news is bad. Technology helped us stay connected during the pandemic of 2020. Video conferencing software and services allowed us to access work, business, and school and share time with loved ones.
People learned to reconnect with distant relatives and maintain long-distance relationships. Tools such as Portal and Zoom, along with improved connectivity, made this much easier. Families and friends took to their computers to have online parties, daily check-ins with family, and group chats.
Finally, let’s not forget that a personal touch beyond tech devices goes a long way to boosting your relationships. Sharing gifts, sending photos, and mailing handwritten letters regularly are great ways to show you truly care.
But don’t assume everyone has equal access to technology. If a family member has difficulty acquiring online services, help get them connected to free resources. If they are limited by a disability, there are many assistive technologies available today that can help.
Improper use of streaming services can hurt your body. Loud music can damage hearing or ear structure. Playing video games for hours on end can result in carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems. People who play games more than they do physical activities are at risk for obesity and related health issues.
Mental health risks are even more harmful, especially for kids. One of the challenges for children is problematic dopamine levels. This chemical rewards your body with the sensation of pleasure. However, when you binge watch TV, you can become addicted to the activity and the resulting flood of dopamine. Be sure to limit TV time for your children to reduce the risk of video addiction.
For couples, technology can help you build trust with a few key steps. You can share passwords or start a shared social media profile. It’s a good idea to set some boundaries for technology use when you’re together. For example, on date night, you can each share a few photos of your activity. Then, put your phones away for the rest of the night.
Today, social media is affecting relationships for good and bad. Dating apps and social media tools can help build romantic relationships. But people also use these to hide from reality or confrontation. A recent survey showed that a quarter of the users polled had a relationship that ended through Facebook. When difficult issues arise, walk away from your phones and have an open, honest discussion. This is especially critical if your relationship is struggling or ending. Be courteous and respectful by talking to your partner directly.
Social media can also be an invasion of privacy. When you break up with someone, you can’t delete their tagged photos of you. Be sure to understand what your partner is sharing about you or your relationship. Common problems include:
- A partner who shares too much information publicly, including break-ups.
- Stalking an ex’s profile.
- Feeling depressed after seeing your ex enjoying life.
- Spending time on social media even when you’re supposed to be together.
While some people who meet online do marry, the biggest problems happen when things don’t work out. Divorce lawyers mine social media to help their client’s cases against their ex-spouse.
Technology can also disrupt your sleep. Your brain’s circadian rhythms help you to feel sleepy after the sun goes down. Research shows that screen time at night disturbs this cycle, causing sleeplessness. If you regularly access videos at night, stop at least one hour before bedtime, especially if you are struggling to fall asleep.
The Dangers of Technology
Just like any other convenience, excessive use of technology can be harmful. We need to be aware of these dangers. They include physical and mental health issues caused by overindulgence. As we can see, technology can build a relationship or tear it down. Use tech in ways that allow you to connect but be balanced in your approach. The key is prioritizing people over technology. Today, it’s easy to overindulge in technology, putting our health and relationships at risk. Instead, use it sparingly as a tool that promotes connection with your loved ones. And know when to step away and enjoy each other’s company without the gadgets.
Is technology helping or hindering your family or romantic relationships? Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.