“This modern world we live in is full of common situations and experiences which, if not handled well, create resistance rather than ease, impairing the strength that a relationship brings us.”
In our increasingly connected digital world, it sometimes seems like we are becoming more and more disconnected. You can see evidence of it everywhere. So many of us are buried in the experiences of our personal mobile devices that we miss the experiences the real world is so willing to provide us with. Even more upsetting is what that lack of attention can do to our connections with people. Can we avoid letting technology harm relationships? Absolutely we can, by following the sage advice of people like Dr. Christine Carter.
Dr. Carter is a sociologist and senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is also the author of the books The Sweet Spot and Raising Happiness. In the article 3 Ways to Keep Technology from Ruining Your Relationships she details 3 strategies to help us manage tech without a tax on our time interacting with the people in our lives.
From her article:
“We all do things — perhaps daily — that push the people we love away from us. We sneak “harmless” glances at our smartphones while playing games with our children. We forget to take thirty seconds to greet our spouse warmly when we haven’t seen her or him all day … In these situations, and many others we’ve all experienced, our smartphones and laptops and tablets and all the social media they carry disrupt the very social connections they promise to create.”
Our technology addiction is further fuelled by the release of dopamine it provides. This happens whenever we get an alert or notification on a personal device, and it’s rewarding to us. We are inwardly satisfied that our post was “liked” or “tagged” or “shared.” It can be both cathartic and empowering for some of us to receive that digital validation. Many of us will even obsess over it. Unfortunately this can happen at the cost of real interpersonal connection.
Learning to avoid letting technology harm relationships is simpler than you might think. Dr. Carter suggests 3 solid strategies in her article, which we’ve listed below:
- Create specific technology times.
- Learn to live voluntarily with solitude.
- Limit your time in the digital world.
Keep the personal connections in your life alive while still enjoying the technology we crave. You can learn more about Dr. Carter’s guidelines to avoid letting technology harm relationships in her article 3 Ways to Keep Technology from Ruining Your Relationships.