Technology and Our Relationships
As I’ve gotten older I have found it hard to keep up with all of the new technological advances and new social media platforms. It’s all coming in so fast that it makes my head spin. And I’m only 25; I should theoretically be able to keep track. But I’ve found that with every change to my smart phone interface, there’s a change with the way our relationships function.
Technology has crept its sneaky little fingers in and manipulated the way we develop feelings for each other, how we date and even how we have sex. I can’t say I’m complaining, because it certainly makes things easier, but what does it mean for the future of our relationships? Let’s explore what it’s done so far.
Ten years ago, you likely thought that internet dating was reserved for people who were desperate, old or weird. I know I did. Nowadays, 1 in 5 relationships start online and I’m sure that number is only going to increase. Half of my twenty something friends use online dating sites and if I were single, I probably would too. Now we can vet out the weirdos and the creeps without ever stepping in a bar. We’re simply fast tracking the painful part of the process. No muss, no fuss, straight to the point. Who has time to do it the old-fashioned way these days?
Social media platforms have become tools that are so deeply ingrained in our daily lives that it’s sometimes hard to define where our online and offline lives begin and end. We can stalk our friends getting married or getting dumped. We can spread pointless news far faster than we could ever need and more importantly, we can keep a watchful eye on our partner or potential partners. Whether you admit it or not, you know you have stalked your partner at some point and you’ve most definitely stalked your ex. But has social media made it easier for people to emotionally cheat and harder for people to move on after break ups? How do we process our feelings about someone when they are constantly in our news feed? And what keeps your partner from reaching out to their ex when they are only a click away? It’s a nifty tool that has proved to be just as detrimental as it is amazing. Sometimes I think dating was easier when it wasn’t in our face all the time.
I am a part of a texting generation. While high schoolers today are really considered the texters, I have to say that phone calls are rare these days. Why chat when I can just shoot you a text? Unfortunately, that mentality has bleed over into dating. You don’t get a call the day after you’ve met someone. They text you. Hey, what’s up? It’s easy. It takes off the pressure of actually have to dial and think of something to say. Instead you find yourself engrossed in an hour long text off, while you grin ear to ear. Your day stops and you glue yourself to your screen. All to have a conversation that could have verbally occurred in a matter of ten minutes. Texting is great, but sometimes I wish guys could just do it old school and call you.
Now when it comes to sex and technology, I can’t say that I have any complaints. Why would I when they can finally make vibrators that are so well researched and developed that they will instantly hit every key spot you have? Not to mention they’re rechargeable and made of body safe materials. Yes, yes please. Or can we talk about the Ohmibod vibrator that syncs up with your mp3 player and buzzes along to music. Genius. Want one? You can find these awesome toys at Adam & Eve.
The talk of technology and sex would be nothing without the mention of porn. Porn has gone from burlesque shows, to magazines to large scale movies. It is reported that porn sites now make up 12% of all the websites on the internet. Porn has even been given its own extension of .xxx and is virtually waiting for you at the end of your fingertips. You can now find it for free online and aren’t nearly as likely to get viruses from looking at it. Just think about what your teenage years would have been like had you had porn so readily available.
Finally, much like dating, sex has become much easier to attain. Maybe you’re not looking for a date, but you’re looking to fill your bed for the evening. You can now find people looking for the same by using sites like Grindr. GPS trackers on our phone can sync up with others who are nearby and looking for a little hanky panky. Don’t waste your time with drinks, just meet in the bathroom. Once again, this is about efficiency and saving time and money. Don’t waste your breath if you’re both just trying to get down. Technology is technically blowing you (away).
Flickr photo by Jhaymesisviphotography via Creative Commons license 2.0