While these new electronic tools are meant to make communication easier by offering instant contact with anyone, they can ultimately cause more problems within relationships by taking away quality, face-to-face time. Instead of making work easier and allow more time with people, more people are bringing their work home with them.
Technology allows us to be constantly connected to the world electronically, but often makes us more disconnected from each other. Studies have found cell phones can have a negative impact on close relationships.
A University of Essex study revealed that those who engaged in personal discussions when a cell phone was nearby, even if neither person was using it, reported less trust for their partner and a diminished relationship quality. Other research has found that cell phones can distract our attention from the present moment; it’s easy to see how that might negatively affect romance.
Living Well magazine reported that an increasing number of people are spending significant amounts of time on their computer, tablet, smartphone, or all three. All of that time spent online can have a negative effect on face-to-face connections. In some cases it can even end relationships such as when one partner is flirting with Facebook friends while the other would prefer to spend the time together.
Online porn can also pull the plug on real life romance rather quickly.
Over 40 percent of internet users are said to view online porn, and in some cases viewers begin to prefer the uncomplicated immediate gratification.
There are an increasing number of sex addicts today, and even more who suffer because they have lost interest in having sex with their partners as a result. It takes a huge toll on the relationship, with the term “porn widow” unfortunately becoming more and more common.
If you don’t want to risk ruining your real life romance, there are some things you can do to prevent electronics from taking over.
Focus on your partner. When you’re out on a date with your partner or a potential partner, be sure to give him or her quality attention. Don’t continuously check your email and answer text messages.
Set a time limit on electronics. Track how much time you actually spend on your cell phone, laptop, watching TV, or playing video games. Don’t try to make any changes, just jot down the time you spend each day.
You might be surprised to see the number of hours you’re devoting to these devices that can take away from your relationships which will hopefully help you to determine a time limit.
Leave your cell phone at home for dates, or at least put it on silent. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have cell phones. You can go without it long enough to pay attention to the person you’re out with.
Get help if you are addicted to viewing online pornography. If you compulsively spend hours on the internet viewing pornography it can have significant adverse effects on real-life relationships as well as emotional health. With its relative anonymity and ease of access, many people develop an addiction. Seek out help to avoid harming your personal and/or professional life.
Social media sites allow us to connect efficiently with many people that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to, but the problem comes when we find ourselves replacing physical relationships with electronic ones. Too much electronic-relating can pull the plug on romance and even result in social isolation.