Is technology a hindrance or a helping hand in relationships?

Long gone are the days where meeting a partner was confined to weekends down in the local, at a party or at a disco in your local GAA club. Technology has seen the rise of dating apps like Tinder and Plenty of Fish, which make it possible for anybody to meet the possible love of their lives without even leaving their homes.

Like everything though, technology has its downsides. Approaching somebody attractive and asking them out can come across as a bit forward, and could get you branded as a ‘creep’. What was once seen as being confident can now be seen as being a bad approach, and technology is definitely a contributor to this. Unless you awkwardly text someone for a few weeks and then profess your attraction after a few pints, it’s seen as being a bit weird.

People will often sit texting each other in the same room rather than have a conversation without the use of their thumbs. Striking up a conversation in a new setting can be more difficult if you’re used to communicating electronically, and the development of social skills in younger people can be stunted due to this.

It has been proven that technology has an impact on the social skills of young people. Melissa Ortego, a child psychologist in America said: “They don’t know how to handle conflict face to face because so many things happen through some sort of technology.”

It’s not all bad, however. Apps like Skype and Whatsapp allow people to keep in contact regardless of where in the world they are. Being able to see the faces of friends, family, or a partner while being apart from them is utterly invaluable when you’re missing somebody. With emigration being as common as it is, being able to see the face of a loved one when they’re at the other side of the world provides an adequate short term fix, and can also ease the homesickness that may be felt by the other party.

Technology has both helped and hindered relationships, but as a whole it has evolved alongside the progression of our society. While younger people will grow up with these benefits at their fingertips, it also provides the elderly with new ways to keep in touch with people or reconnect with long lost friends.

Technology opens up new corridors for people in all walks of life. For some, you may make a good friend, write about your ideas on a blog or even meet someone you end up spending the rest of your life with. Whether it becomes a help or a hindrance is really up to you.


Ailbhe Daly

Image Credit: Darragh Culhane

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