Mobile Technology and Relationships

It’s fair to say that the concept of relationships and friendships have become a complex one, especially when we are compliant to social media and rely on it to communicate with people. We have started expecting more from people: love, attention, quick replies. But our expectations are often denied. The only thing that is instantly responsive to our touch and needs is our smartphone…

Our smartphones are willing to do whatever we want them to do. One could even say they’re more loyal than humans. No wonder we are willing to disengage with people and rather be with our phones – it’s easier. My flat mate and I will be studying in separate rooms (no more than 3 meters apart) and we will message one another to ask if a cigarette break is in order! Don’t fool yourself, I’m sure you’ve done it too!

This post will not attempt to maintain the same degree of cynicism as the previous post did-it is concerned more with awareness. In order to survive, we need to adapt, so social media and smart phones are a new way in which we facilitate our daily information and needs to communicate. This is how we interact socially!

The advantages are irrefutable. Not only has social media expanded our range of communication, but it also creates helpful opportunities and it motivates  a lot of people. Our communication is (most of the time) instant and it is creatively reinforced by emoticons, GIFS, images and videos. It’s convenient, accessible (to most people) and enjoyable.

But there are also a number of disadvantages. Let’s think about dating. Because of social media, we have reserved this ideal image of our future companion who can be found by a click or two. But can we? Social media attempts to convince us that there is the ‘perfect’ other half out there, but the truth is imperfection. Human fragility is a real thing. Let’s take Tinder as an example. Research shows that the matches found on Tinder exceed the amount of people in the world. But this means that because we have so much choice, our expectations are fairy-tales and our desires are prone to disappointment. Now, ask yourself, is this really the meaning of a relationship? This is not to say that Tinder is an inappropriate site to find the love of your life, because you actually can. I am simply suggesting that online relationships and friendships have the potential to be fictitious.

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Using smartphones and social media in order to communicate and pursue a relationship can also be stressful. Relationships born into a Facebook-Instagram-Twitter world can become ugly, because trust can be replaced with anxiety – fear of the DMs, Instagram fantasies, private messages and secret right-swipes are a real thing. Be conscious of this reality, because it hurts when you’re the victim.

I don’t want to suggest that we abandon our phones when we feel the need to communicate with people, because that is how we communicate in this day and age, but I do suggest we refrain from being submissive to our smartphones and be aware of this truth. After all, our phones can’t fix a broken heart or a ruined friendship.



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