Technological Difficulties

Technology’s positive and negative impacts on relationships

Anna Pipinos, Editor-in-Chief

“When I go out with my girlfriend, I see other couples who are on dates and are on their phones. [It is] kind of crazy to see how that person can be closer to their phone rather than the person across from them,” senior Blake Rosen** said.  

As another year filled with technological advancements passes by, the usage of technology continues to increase. Within the last decade, there was a 70 percent spike in technological usage, and a multitude of effects—both positive and negative—have been born and brought to light, many of these relating to relationships. 

On one hand, technology can cause a number of conflicts to arise between couples. 

“Our phones and other tech have a stronghold on us, and as a senior, I’ve gotten to see mostly the negative effects of technology on both friendships and relationships,” Rosen said. 

For instance, when someone is with another person that they care about, their focus is usually directed towards them. However, there are times when their attention can become derailed just by glancing at their phone, leading to a loss of connection and intimacy. 

“We both check our phones when it vibrates or pings, and sometimes, it is while one of us is talking about something that’s important,” senior Jessica Hampton** said. “Obviously, I get a little frustrated with him if he is on his phone while I’m talking to him. It just feels like he stops listening to me.” 

Furthermore, technology not only serves as a distraction but can also give rise to anxiety and stress between one or both of the partners. 

“There are times where we don’t text as much or I see that he is active on social media but won’t be talking to me. I know it sounds weird, but it can cause me to stress and overthink situations,” junior Ashley Honmin** said. 

On the other hand, although it can harm relationships, technology can help relationships grow and prosper through light-hearted conversations, calling each other while in a long-distance relationship or when away from each other, and taking memorable pictures together. 

“Using our phones and laptops have brought us closer together. Although they may seem insignificant at the moment, the ‘good morning’ texts and the late-night calls that we have are memories that I will be holding on to,” Honmin said. 

With that being said, there are ways that couples can ensure that the usage of phones and other technology isn’t interfering with their relationship, such as simply putting away the phones while together. 

A study done by the PEW Research Center found that 50% of teens in relationships felt that social media distanced them from their significant others. If it comes to the point where it is doing more harm than good, both partners should come to an agreement on how they will go about the situation.  

“We see on Instagram and TikTok ways to hang out without having our phones, but we haven’t tried any of them yet. Maybe she and I should try it out and see how it goes,” Rosen said. “I have faith that it will bring us closer together.” 

The connections we form between people result from not only personal and upfront experiences but also by communicating through technology. However, it is important to recognize when technology begins to cross that line of healthy and unhealthy and to take action when relationships begin to fall apart. 

 “Technology can become two things: a barrier and a gateway. I think it is up to the couple to figure out which one they will allow it to become,” Honmin said.