Is Technology Really Causing Unhealthy Relationships?
Email, texting, and social media have forever changed the way we communicate; even with our significant others.
My better half, Pam Allen, travels five days a week and works long days.
Our chances for phone conversations are very limited.
We rely on email and text messages to keep in touch.
While we’re glad we can communicate so easily during the workday, it does not mean that all our conversations are fluid.
Sometimes more problems come out of communicating electronically than if we just had a two-minute phone conversation.
Words with No Inflection
One of the most common problems with communicating non-verbally, whether it is via email or text messages, is that you do not hear the speaker’s tone of voice.
You can take a simple sentence like, “Take what you need out of the bank.” and interpret it as sounding resentful or sounding generous.
Unless you know your significant other’s viewpoint on the subject, there is no way to tell if they are OK with you making a withdrawal or not.
If you are having a miserable day yourself, it is remarkably easy to take that basic response and read all kinds of negative connotations into it that are reflections of your own mood.
When you cannot hear someone’s tone of voice, a quick response can come across as irritation when they are simply just trying to get through a busy day.
Words without tonal inflections are the number 1 reason for unhealthy relationships to start festering into larger issues.
Unhealthy Relationships – Missing Information
This is less common with text messages, because they are brief in nature, but it is very easy to skim through an email from your significant other and miss an important question or statement.
Likewise, they may often do the same to you.
You have to understand that these types of missed communications happen, and can then enflame into unhealthy relationships before you realize what’s happened.
It is best not to get disappointed if you do not get the response you are looking for in an email because some points invariably get lost in the shuffle.
The Social Media Monster
Fortunately, this is not a problem in my relationship, but I’ve seen many relationships live and die because of Facebook.
Jealousy is probably the number one problem that couples face when they both have Facebook pages.
Old flames come back into the picture.
Wives see women they do not know on their husband’s Facebook page.
Men read comments on their wives ’ pages from other men that seem flirtatious.
The list of potential social media misunderstandings is endless.
The question is, do you honestly trust your mate?
If you do trust your mate then what happens on Facebook should not be an issue between you two.
I know from personal experience that many unhealthy relationships start within the confines of social media.
Mixed Feelings in Communication
We communicate faster now; however, that does not mean that we’re communicating better.
For couples, the speed at which we communicate can lead to mixed signals, confusion, and worry.
When you toss in the additional worry of whoever else your significant other is contacting online it can be a recipe for disaster. Relationships are like houses – the same can be said for unhealthy relationships.
If your relationship is strong, it can survive a little weather damage from miscommunication.
Does technology destroy relationships unless they are already built on unstable ground?