5 Reasons Why Technology is the Downfall of Relationships
By Erica Gossett (Intern)
What was life like before texting and the internet? It was definitely a much simpler place. People had phone calls with each other on a regular basis but now text messaging has taken over the way we communicate. Over six billion text messages are sent every day in the United States, according to Forrester Research, and over 2.2 trillion are sent each year. These numbers are only increasing each year, putting quite a toll on relationships, as expressed in the five ways below.
1. 1. What happened to phone calls? It seems like phone calls have gone extinct. Teenagers and college students rely simply on text messaging to speak to their friends on a daily basis. The same can be said within the work atmosphere, where most prefer e-mailing rather than calling clients on a regular basis. Businesses used to only able to use the phone before the internet was created. Many people don’t even make phone calls as much as they used to, with house phones appearing to go extinct.
2. 2. Face to face communication is decreasing. It’s becoming increasingly common to use text messaging to avoid in person confrontations with someone. If we spent more time speaking to someone face-to-face rather than texting, we would get to know people much better. Many people also communicate through Twitter, Facebook and most recently, Snapchat.
3. 3. People use Social Media to Exploit Their Lives. What happened to diaries and journals? Some people use their social media accounts as an open book for the entire world to see. Posting your personal problems on social media is not a good look. PR Daily reports a few annoying habits that social media users have with the most annoying posts consisting of humble braggers, complainers and over sharers.
4. Cyber bullying. This has been a problem in the past decade among teens and college students. Certain websites such as Ask.fm and Formspring let users anonymously write information about an individual. Some people take advantage of these websites to harass other individuals. This has caused depression, self esteem issues and even suicide within teens and college students. In September 2013, Buzzfeed reported that 9 teenage suicides in the last year were linked to cyber-bullying on social network Ask.fm. Websites like these need to be moderated effectively to prevent further tragedies.
5. 5. We rely on social media “likes” for Happiness. How many of us are guilty of this? I know I am. Instagram is a wonderful app but some people take it too far by getting satisfaction about how many “likes” they receive. Forget about endorphins, this app releases “insta-dorphins” for its users. Buzzfeed reports that if you are an Instagram addict, “picking a filter is the most stressful part of your day.” Fox News reports that one in every three people who use social media such as Facebook , experience feelings of jealousy and envy after spending time on these sites. Studies have even shown that social media addicts suffer loneliness and people who check Facebook before they get out of bed could be suffering from social anxiety. Facebook has somehow evolved into a place for people to brag about their success or even their children’s.
The lesson here is that we must learn how to monitor technology and not let it define our happiness. We can start by opting to call that good friend instead of texting.