We live in a digital world, and younger generations always seem to learn digital technologies easier than previous generations. Individuals who can quickly adapt to new technology are called digital natives, and digital nativity is changing the way we live. As the younger generations are born, we see a new normal in communication and relationships. This article will discuss the impact of the digital nativity on relationships.
How Digital Nativity Shapes Relationships
Is there such a thing as being addicted to our devices? While many experts agree there seems to be some form of dependency on these technologies, they’re unsure of the implications. However, more people recognize that their friends, family, and even themselves have become significantly reliant on technology. For example, when your internet goes out for just a few minutes, you might feel anxiety because you can’t shop online. This dependence can impact everything from work to personal relationships.
No matter how you feel about technology in our lives, digital technology changes many human interactions, from dating and romance to friendships. Here’s how digital nativity is shaping our relationships.
Just a few years ago, online dating was considered dangerous. While you should still tell your friends where you’re going when meeting someone online, it’s now the new normal. Online dating is one of the most popular ways to meet a romantic partner because you can get to know someone via texts and calls before you even meet in person.
Many people view this as a benefit because technology lets you meet many new people you otherwise might not have. You can find someone more compatible with you for a better, healthier relationship by having access to more people.
Unfortunately, many people still see online dating as negatively impacting relationships. Because there’s a larger pool of dating candidates, many people may feel the need to look outside of their relationship. Because meeting new people is so easy, many people also feel insecure in their relationships because they don’t trust their loved ones to be fully honest with them. Of course, we can’t entirely blame technology for someone cheating on their partner; it does make cheating easier.
Even with the help of technology, many people still prefer meeting their partners the old-fashioned way.
Digital devices provide us access to information about anything from cryptocurrency to current events, all of which can be distracting. Digital devices can ruin relationships because they are pocket-sized distractions. If one partner is addicted to their smartphone, the other might feel like they’re not being listened to. Additionally, instead of spending time with one another, couples might spend more time on their phones scrolling social media instead of talking to one another.
This can be especially frustrating for a partner who doesn’t depend on their device, ultimately destroying their opportunity to communicate effectively with their partner.
Spending more time with your device than you do with your partner can lead to feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction. It can also distract you from having essential talks that prevent you from getting to know each other better so that your relationship can continue to blossom.
Mental Health Problems
Mental health problems can jeopardize all of your relationships. While the link between depression and anxiety and device use is still unclear, mental health problems can occur from smartphone use. Of course, it depends on how you use your smartphone. If you use it for entertainment purposes and text friends and family, you likely don’t have mental health problems. However, if you’re constantly scrolling through social media and comparing your life to other people’s, you might feel dissatisfied.
It’s important to remember that most of what you see on social media is fake and edited. Young adults who don’t learn this will feel insecurity that can lead to depression because they’ll believe the perfect body exists when it doesn’t.
Digital device usage might also be linked to anxiety because of addiction. If you’re used to having something in your hand at all times and being in constant communication with your loved ones, you won’t know what to do when your phone dies or breaks. Additionally, smartphones can lead to relationship anxiety. For example, suppose your significant other doesn’t text you back within what you consider a reasonable timeframe. In that case, you might feel anxious or even angry with them, which puts them in an awkward position.
Extended Screen Time
Extended screen time can impact all aspects of your life and relationships. Parents often complain that their children spend too much time in front of screens and can’t figure out the proper way to manage their screen time. Parents have always struggled with how much time their children spend in front of screens because it can distract them from more important activities, such as schoolwork.
Not only that, but it can stop children from developing the necessary social skills they need to form healthy relationships. If your children spend too much time playing video games online, they may be able to communicate through screens but not in person.
Learning to socialize with people in person is vital because many of our daily activities involve dealing with people in person. Even as we make the shift to a more remote workforce and there are many things you can do from the comfort of your own home, you still need to communicate with other humans effectively.
Digital Nativity and Relationships
Of course, digital devices aren’t all bad. In fact, we can’t say for sure whether younger generations will see these changes in relationships as a negative thing. It’s possible they may believe their methods of communication are just as effective at forming relationships as we believe ours to be. Think about your grandparents who didn’t have digital technology. Odds are, they can’t believe you were able to form meaningful relationships even with all the time you spent watching television as a kid.
Digital nativity may not negatively impact relationships like many people believe; it may just change how we communicate and form relationships.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.