Thursday, June 9, 2016

Integration of Technology Disintegrates Relationships

posted by: Rachel Tuley

Technology has undoubtedly had an effect on relationships as they are viewed today. Some say that technology has created an atmosphere that encourages the growth of relationships, but my claim is this: technological advances and popular media have encouraged the disintegration of relationships - romantic relationships, friendships, and even business relationships.

Technology has become more so a barrier to relationships than an aide. Through looking at multiple sources, researching myclaim, and speaking with several notable people, I have created this post to describe in detail the effect that technology has on today's relationships.

The Redefinition of Personal Relationships

Romantic Relationships

Technology has created a barrier between romantic relationships. Throughout history, relationships have obviously developed and changed, as shown by the rudimentary timeline below [1]:
17th century - Most marriages are arranged by the parents of the two being married
18th/19th century - Love is gaining ground as a reason for marrying, but money and status should be heavily considered
20th century - Relationships revolve mostly around feelings of compatibility
21st century - Technology becomes a widespread commodity, and many use dating apps or online dating as a way to meet other people who interest them.
Additionally, you can look at primary sources such as romance novels (Shakespeare, Nicholas Sparks, medieval literature, etc.) to see how relationships were made and sustained throughout history. The picture painted throughout history varies widely from what defines today's relationships. In past romances, such as in Shakespearean works, are typically arranged by the parents. Such is the case in his plays "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Taming of the Shrew," among others. In Nicholas Sparks novels such as "The Notebook" show how people go against their parents' will to fight for true love in the modern world.

Technology has redefined modern dating and courtship as something more artificial than relationships of the past, as is evident from the above summary. Before technology, people had to spend quality time with each other, and people only met if they spoke to each other face to face.

In the past, there was an unwritten rulebook on what courtship and dating entailed - calling a girl ahead of time to ask for a date, coming to the door to meet her parents before going out, having conversations without electronic interruption at the table, and talking face to face (seeing as face to face was the only way to talk for the most part).

Modern society has redefined romantic relationships as something that can be found based on artificial premonitions. For example, Tinder and online dating sites are a common source of dating today. We are allowed, and even encouraged, to judge people by their looks before even having the opportunity to chat with them in order to get to know them. Below is a video posted by the TODAY show [2].

While my claim is that technology has a negative effect on personal relationships, there is definitely evidence to support the counterargument. Online dating sites such as eHarmony and LDSSingles match people with similar interests and encourage them to date. Many people who are unique and cannot seem to find a match in the real world have had great luck meeting people on these dating websites. I have a personal experience where a friend of mine used one of these and is now married to someone who is too similar to his wife - it is not a happy marriage.

As you can see from the video, people are using technology as an intermediary between them and their loved one. It is a dangerous thing, because not talking to those you are closest to can be davastating to relationships, regardless of the time period you look at.


Friendships have also taken quite the hit as technology and society have redefined the norm of a "modern-day friendship." Many of the younger generation own a smartphone by the time that they turn 10. Oftentimes, people are seen at social gatherings that are texting someone or spending time staring at their phone screen instead of talking to those around them.

By being "connected" to their electronic friends, people are isolating themselves from the people in direct vicinity - often family or friends. Below are two videos exemplifying this claim and how technology is actually disintegrating the closeness of friendships:


The main idea summarized in Sherry Turkle's book, Alone Together:..., is that technology is getting in the way of personal face to face relationships. I can relate to this with a personal experience. As a child, I grew up playing board games with my family around the dinner table every night after eating dinner together. As the years went by and we all got cell phones/computers/iPads, we started to trickle up to our rooms after dinner to check out the newest news on social media. We no longer had meaningful conversations at the dinner table because someone would constantly be zoned out on their phone. It was a sad thing to realize had happened to my family, but no one really noticed the difference except for me when I stepped back to reflect on it. After consulting with my friends on social media, I realized that this was not a singular occurance in families everywhere [6].

While my claim is that technology is harming relationships, there is obviously evidence to the contrary. Many people lose connection with people as they go their separate ways in life. The internet and technology have helped to connect people who would otherwise not be able to communicate due to geographical distance between the two.

Business Relationships

Technology has greatly impacted the business world. Each year something seemingly brand new sweeps through the marketplace. This increase of technology has driven many to compete in order to create the next big invention.

The increase in technology has also made it harder for businesses to stay up-to-date and modern. Technology has affected business in these two ways, and the resulting emotions in companies and individuals especially are stress and competitiveness. No one is better off when there is a chronic sense of stress and competitiveness, but the business world as a whole continues to thrive as technology has improved customer service and relationships between business partners. IT makes business more transparent and understandable to those without an educational background in business.

There is a vast difference between the effect technology has on companies and the effect that it has on those who make up the companies.

For more information about how I formulated my claim, visit the following Pinterest page: HERE 

Works Cited
[1] "Marriage, A History." Psychology Today. 1 May 2005. Accessed 29 May 2016,
[2] TODAY Show. 17 August 2015. Accessed 19 May 2016,
[3] "I Forgot My Phone." Youtube. 22 August 2013. Accessed 20 May 2016,
[4] "Look Up." Youtube. 25 April 2014. Accessed 21 May 2016,
[5] Turkle, Sherry. "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology & Less from Each Other." Amazon. 2 October 2016. Accessed 31 May 2016,
[6] "Technology and Relationships Today." Qualtrics. 5 June 2016. Accessed 5 June 2016,

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of embedding the videos directly into your post, I am more likely to view the videos this way whereas if it were a link it would be doubtful to actually open them.