From online bill pay to car sharing services, modern technology affords us many conveniences once deemed impossible. These come at a price, however; both empirical evidence and personal anecdotes indicate that technology can damage our closest relationships. Keep reading to learn more about how modern couples cope—and if it’s possible to mitigate the worst effects of technology while still enjoying its numerous benefits.
Jealousy and the Role of Social Media
Facebook and Instagram have a way of making mature adults behave like preteens. Suddenly, every ‘like’ prompts a full-on investigation. Couples have always struggled with jealousy, but social media amplifies it by providing more opportunities to be jealous. Psychologist Franklin A. Porter explains, “People who look at [social media], especially if their own self-image is somewhat fragile, tend to assume that rather than being a selective portrait, it’s the reality.”
Even couples who manage to avoid social media-prompted jealousy still struggle with an overabundance of technology in their relationship. It’s frustrating to address someone, only to find yourself drowned out by a mobile device. Ultimately, partners find themselves not only jealous of suspected lovers they find on Facebook, but of the objects on which their significant other views those status updates. University of Arizona professor Matthew Lapierre explains, “It’s not use; it’s the psychological relationship to that device.”
In research conducted by the Institute for Family Studies, 35 percent of female respondents claimed their partner frequently checked cell phone notifications while in the middle of a conversation. Furthermore, 33 percent complained about phone check-ins during meals together. Perhaps worst of all, 25 percent of respondents admitted that their partner actively texted other people during face-to-face conversations.
Technology and Sex
Porn caused relationship drama long before the internet, but now, it’s more accessible and versatile than ever. Researchers believe that excessive consumption of porn may have a detrimental impact on sexual relationships, especially as the viewers’ reality fails to fulfill his or her porn-prompted expectations.
In a study published in the scholarly journal Computers and Human Behavior, respondents who used internet pornography extensively reported reduced erectile function and general sexual dissatisfaction. In another study highlighted by the open access journal Behavioral Sciences, high frequency of pornography consumption in 2006 predicted lower marital quality six years later.
Whether you blame technology or some other factor for the demise of your relationship, you deserve counsel from a Washington, D.C. family lawyer you can trust. DiPietro Family Law Group offers patient guidance through all phases of the divorce process.