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Technology’s Negative Impact On Romantic Relationships

2830 words - 11 pages

Social networking and other social technology allows for interactions to occur between friends and family regardless of their location. While people remain social through communicating at a constant rate, the essence of face-to-face interactions is in part affected. In romantic relationships, open and honest communication with one’s partner is critical to the trust and development of the relationship. Young adults use social technology such as the Internet and mobile phones on a daily basis to maintain their relationships. Due to the miscommunication that often occurs from not a lack of face-to-face interactions, social technology shapes the way romantic relationships function. Therefore, social technology impacts romantic relationships through a technological determinist outlook, leading to trust and dissatisfaction issues through the Internet and mobile devices, thus negatively changing face-to-face relationships. Different rhetoric of online communication shapes and transforms problems such as deception in online dating, social monitoring and control on social networking sites, creates negative interpretations and implications of text messages, and thus creates a new image and mindset of romantic relationships.
Technological determinism “sees technology as the cause of cultural and social change” (Morris, 2013). Within technological determinism, there are two different types. Hard technological determinism is “an oversimplified, cause and effect explanation for social change” (Johnson, 2013). Soft technological determinism views “technology is one of many social factors that drive social change” (Johnson, 2013). Viewing the Internet as one of the many factors in shaping social change is a technological determinist view. Young adults in particular use social technologies to a large degree. In particular, “ninety-three percent of millennials (those born in 1982 or later), ages 18–28, have a cell phone and use the Internet regularly” and “62–88% of young adults regularly text and 72% use social networking site” (Burke, Wallen, Vail-Smith, Knox, 2011, p. 1162). New social technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet allow for a new way to observe and interact with others. In particular, people often utilize these technologies to watch over and impose overbearing or false personas onto others, often evoking problems for those in a relationship. Therefore, due to the availability and ease of access of the information present within these technologies, mobile telephones and the Internet pose a technological determinist outlook onto why negative complications arise between romantic partners.
The Internet creates a new type of trust in part by the lack of a physical presence. People expect their partner to respond with complete honesty, yet a lack of physical presence creates a separation in which it becomes easier to lie. At the beginning of a romantic relationship, if the partners have yet to get to know each other, they may post certain...

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