3 Ways Technology Has Changed Dating and Relationships
From answering a call during sex to the Facebook relationship status, technology has reinvented relationships.
As we are constantly bombarded with media and are accustomed to having our faces forever glued to our smart phones, every aspect of our lives will inevitably be affected-- from the banal and superficial to the most emotional and intimate.
I've been with my partner since before online dating became so popular, and therefore have limited experience when it comes to relationships and the interwebs. (If I suddenly became single again, I would require an in-depth tutorial to avoid making a total ass of myself.) I must rely on others for a better understanding of all the foibles, subtleties, and hilarity of contemporary dating. This is what readers and friends have shared about the ways in which new technology influences the way we interact inside and outside the bedroom.
Changing Physical Standards and Expectations
My friend Sean says that hooking up online can sometimes lower your standards. As a gay man living in a rural part of the country, he says that many people refuse to send headshots before meeting. Not only that, many times the physical description that’s on their online profile is completely inaccurate. If someone you weren’t attracted to approached you at a bar, you'd probably just politely decline his advances. But when hooking up online, he says, this scenario often plays out-- man comes to your door and is much less attractive than you imagined based on his profile. If you're horny enough, you might just shrug and say, “Meh. Why not?”
Letting Your Phone Come First
I have a friend who has admitted to answering phone calls during sex. (I suspect she's even answered my calls, but I would rather not know.) When she first revealed this, I scolded her for disrespecting her partner by not focusing on the task at hand. It turns out, however, this isn't so unusual. A survey carried out by Vodafone, which polled 2,000 people in Britain, revealed that over a third of men would answer the phone during sex. Another recent poll revealed that more than twice as many respondents were willing to give up sex for a week instead of their smart phone or caffeine. Our love affairs with our smart phones can get in the way of our relationships with real people.
Facebook has become a part of many aspects of our lives. According to a survey of 550 social networking adults, 38 percent will update their relationship status on Facebook and become “Facebook Official,” but only 24 percent will tell their friends first. Facebook has become the space in which many of us become town criers. Veronica, a single woman in her late twenties, says that Facebook sometimes causes her anxiety. When she begins dating a man, she worries about how much information she can share. “Do I tag them? Do I post a picture of us? Have I liked too many of his status updates?”
Revealing too much information or changing your relationship status before your partner is ready can be hurtful and embarrassing. After a few months of dating my partner, I finally joined Facebook and was shocked to learn that he had not changed his relationship status. And though it seems very petty now, and it makes me feel like a wiener to admit this, it did hurt my feelings.
How has technology changed your sex/love life? Has it improved or complicated your connection with romantic partners? Share your story below!