Now that technology is a relevant force in society, relationships have morphed into a new genre.

With the addition of technology to our society, long distance relationships have been made easier. Kate Hanks, an American studies major at Smith College, discussed how her relationships have been affected by the use of snapchat and texting. Hanks found it much easier to stay in contact with her (now ex) girlfriend as they attended school across the county from each other.

“We were across the country for almost two years, and tech made it so much easier for both of us. It was so comforting to know she was there and that I could share my life through snapchat, because pictures and videos are so much better than words sometimes.”

Tech Love
Texting can be a great form of communication with significant others. Photo credit: Katie Mitchell

However, creating relationships based on trust and respect can be hindered by technology as well. Jacob Rivera, an undeclared freshman at San Jose City College said, “texting is often an easy way out in relationships. It’s hard to say how you feel to someone’s face, but if you can just text your boyfriend that you want to break up and not have to face him, that’s a lot easier. Technology is a social crutch.”

The Huffington Post states that, “online dating actually delays “IRL” meetings.” Bea Arthur, a therapist quoted in the article, says that, “we should know better because relationships start to become solid after about five dates, while the first meeting is simply an initial interaction. Expectation is the root of the most disappointment in online dating.” Dating websites and apps, such as Tinder and Bumble, make it easier than ever to continue relationships online without ever needing to meet in person.

Gigi Mitchell using Technology
It can be easy to become consumed with technology instead of face to face interactions. Photo credit: Katie Mitchell

People who grew up with tech devices in their lives from their first memories to now very few role models to look up to for advice on how to cultivate a healthy relationship with technology. Many parents and older peers went through the transition of having no technology to suddenly being surrounded by it. They were taught the behaviors necessary for a successful relationship without screens.

Sarah Tavernise, a teacher based out of the Silicon Valley, talked to me about her experiences with technology surrounding her marriage. Tavernise married her husband in 1996 after many years of letter writing, and then with the introduction of personal computers, emailing. “Laptops were a huge boost to our relationship. I was out of the country from 1993-94, and having a laptop meant we could communicate nearly instantly. Not waiting on international post was great! Before that, he would send stuff to the general post at whatever place I was headed next, and it could be weeks before I’d get his letters.”

Technology is here to stay, to evolve and to become as involved in our lives as it can. Getting up each day and paving the path to understanding how to create a lasting relationship with the help of technology is something our generation has been tasked with, and is something we are succeeding with every day.