Take a look around you. Think about your friends, family, and the people that surround you. Now take a moment to answer this question — how many of these people own a smartphone, tablet, computer, or all of the above? The answer to that question is probably close to, “Every one of them.” It’s evident that technology plays a significant part in our daily lives, and many of us would have a hard time living without technology. While we all can probably appreciate the value of technology, we perhaps don’t frequently consider some of the negative consequences that can result from the use of technology. This article is directed at discussing some of the more negative aspects of technology and particularly its overuse.
One of the most significant dangers of using technology is its ability to make people feel isolated. You might respond, “But that sound’s like a paradox! I use technology to connect to all sorts of people.” Yes, that may be true. Technology can be a great way to connect and communicate with people from all over the world. Also, it can be an excellent tool for learning something new, conducting business, or keeping in touch with friends and family. However, the use of technology can be problematic when we begin spending too much time online, wasting too many hours on social media, or begin substituting interactions via technology for real-life interaction. Head on over to PsychologyToday to see some of these concerns.
In addition to potentially having adverse effects on the individual, there is a fair bit of research to show that technology can also damage personal relationships. Whether it is your friends, family, or a romantic partner, inappropriate use of technology may damage your relations. The most common culprit is rather commonplace. Imagine that you’re sitting around a table with friends or family. Whatever the reason may be, maybe the conversation has dulled, there is a break in the discussion or your phone chimes about a new email. You pick up the phone and direct your attention elsewhere. I’m sure that you have either seen this happen, or you may be guilty of this yourself.
In any case, surveys have shown that this behavior, especially when repeated over prolonged periods, can be devastating on personal relationships. When you bring this into the realm of intimate relationships, the consequences can be even worse. Selecting the phone/tv/computer over your loved ones can put a lot of stress on the relationship, alienate affection, and leave your partner feeling unappreciated. Stretch this out over months or years, and it can lead to greater conflict, dissatisfaction, and possibly the end of the relationship. If you’re curious to read more about the dangers that technology has on relationships, check out CNN’s article and the Family Studies discussion about the issue.
We’re not saying that you have to give up the smartphone/tablet/computer. Instead, we suggest that you try to be more aware of the ways and times that you use technology. If you’re spending time with people you care for, maybe put the technology on silent, ignore any blinking lights, and be present in the moment. Sure it’s okay to excuse yourself if you are needed, but the constant interruption of technology, coupled with the decision to dedicate your attention elsewhere can cause serious harm to your relationships. So keep in mind the ways that technology can interfere with your life. Ask yourself, in the overall scheme of things, are text messages, social media, and browsing the internet worth hurting the ones you care about?
This has been another set of helpful tips from your friends at Modern Family Law. If you’re worried that someone you know may be letting technology take over their lives, have a conversation with them. As always, if you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, please don’t hesitate to call. We provide free consultations with our team of attorneys, and they are ready to assist you with all your family law needs.
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