Technology on Couple Relationship: Ours is a phase of living when technology overpowers us; it occupies a dominating portion of our daily life. To keep a pace with the current time, we need to walk along with technology. Starting from how our day begins to how it ends, we never spare a single moment when we are away from technology.
No wonder technology has brought about a lot of advancements in human life; not that human being would be able to evolve well and survive without the use of technology.
Like how everything has pros and cons, technology over ruling on human life has its own good and vices. Among a lot of vices one that concerns the most is how it is impacting health of couple relationship.
Technology world is lucrative and tempting and hence take away a lot of time which otherwise needs to spent to build a romantic relationship. Relationships require time and nurturance. It needs efforts and warmth. Time is major factor in a relationship and time is the aspect is gets majorly disrupted due to technology overuse.
Interactive Technology on self and relationship- a new wave!
Interactive technology is a new term mechanized to refer to tech stuffs like use of cell phone, social media, internet, etc. This new fragment of interactive technology consumption is more concerning than just “technological overuse” in general.
Now every child, adolescents, men and women are highly participative and engrossed in interactive technology, often not realizing the track of time. Interactive technology gives a sense of immediate feedback, gratification, and manifestation of self. People often see interactive technology as a medium of expression, and associates with their own self- worth. They often see themselves as how people on social media see them.
This behavioural mechanism set by interactive medium tends to interfere in initiating and maintaining intimate relationship. Interactive technology’s mechanism of immediate feedback and actions on a click of a mouse in altering people’s belief system and their functioning in a romantic relationship.
Everything has become “fast” these days – from connectivity to relationship. Patience and efforts which are integral in building a relationship are being faded away with our change of perceptions and habits due to technology.
What Research have to say!
Based on the understanding of how technology is bringing about changes in the people’s life and relationship, numerous research has been carried out to analyse the consequence of technology on marital relationship, in terms of emotional bonding, level of sharing between the partners, attachment, amount of quality time being spent and other intimate factors.
Technology overuse, a colloquial to define a state of excessive use of technology and living all surrounded by it, wherein most part of the day gets occupied with it. Various aspects of technology overuse, such as, excessive screen viewing, prolonged sitting, absence of body movements etc. lead to a number of physical setbacks. Along with the obvious physical consequences, there a number of social consequences- which get evident only over the time.
Studies show that Patterns of technology usage by partners are dependent upon a lot of factors such as the duration of the relationship, level of attachment, age of the individuals and so on. Mostly young people who are new to an intimate relationship often use technology to confront difficult feelings and emotions, or even to express intimate feelings, whereas, older people who are happily bonded in a romantic relationship often use technology just for communication.
How technology affect romantic relationship?
Considering the lifestyle changes due to technology overuse, and the changes it is bringing about in human dynamics, a lot of researchers have carried out studies to understand how technology impacts marital relationship, how marriage gets affected due to technology, how technology is negatively impacting family relationships and so on.
Research reveal that the amount of time spent on technology usage is a major cause of conflicts among couples, and also in terms of levels of mutual trust between the partners.
Technology use is a paradox- where on one hand they connect to more people, but in actual it distances people and disrupts social relationship. Whereas, dating apps are commonly being used by youngsters and they easily connect with people and begin to date. The ease with which they initiate relationships, it is equally difficult for them to maintain a relationship, and preserve for longer.
That is the irony technology brings onto relationships!
A study of 2020 “The Correlation Between Technology and Divorce Rates in the United States” showed that increase in creation of Facebook account increased the divorce percentage in the US. The study was published on Computers in Human Behaviour where they studied quality of marriage and use of social media. According to this study in the US, an annual increase of 20% in Facebook accounts was found to be connected with 4.32% increase in divorce. The same study also found that among the participants who did not have the habit of social media use showed 11% more satisfied and content in the marriage, as compared to those who have high usage of social media.
A lot of researchers as well as APA have been devising and propagating a term called Technoference– meaning interreference, intrusion and interruption of technology into people’s lives. It refers to a state when relationships suffer heavily due to constant intrusion and interruption caused by use of technology. This often leads to marital conflicts, partner feeling lonely and left out or “alone together,” posing difficulties in sharing and communication in the relationship.
A research study “Technoference by psycnet organization” that around 70% of the participants experienced intrusion due to use of TV, cell phone and other such devices during their couple time. Around 62% of participants believe that technology interferes during their couple leisure time at least once a day.
Couple counselling to overcome Technoference
Couple counselling is a breeding intervention in the field of mental health the focus of which is on the health couple relationship. Couple counselling is growing popular among young couples; they are very open and accepting to receive professional intervention for interpersonal issues the couple is not able to cope with.
Couple undergoing Technoference can highly be benefitted by couple counselling, where the following key areas would be addressed-
- Counsel the individual partners to help modify the pattern and limit the use of technology
- Educate partners about mobile applications such as DTox which will help to limit technology use
- Couple sessions to focus on developing emotional and social skills on the partners, which otherwise have got eroded with Technoference.
- Educate partners to develop Active Constructive Communication. Active Constructive Communication is a form of expressing feelings and emotions in a positive and an accepting way. It strives for a respectful, courteous, and solution-oriented communication, particularly during times of conflicts.
- Sessions to focus on strength and conflict resolution between the partners.
- Drifting couple’s attention on building positive experiences and means of spending quality time together.
Thus, although we live is phase where use of technology is inevitable, the key is striking a balance between an adaptive and constructive social life and interreference of technology. The deal would be better if we have the adequate and respective space for the two, without relationship being getting impacted by technology.