There is no doubt that in today’s world, technology and relationships go hand in hand. With the use of social media, apps and even texting, people can overcome physical and geographical boundaries to establish connections and nurture relationships.
With these tools, a parent can check on his or her kids while still at work, or a partner who has gone abroad can ask the partner left t home how his or her day went. Even individuals who are dating attest to the great help texting has given them in building new relationships. For established relationships, it has become customary to send multiple messages to a partner, especially in expressing affection.
There is no doubt that texting and relationships go hand in hand in the context of modern times, with the latter offering immense benefits. But even good things, when used incorrectly, can pose harm.
Some people have labelled some of their dates as bad ones when the other party does not know the proper texting etiquette. However, even serious couples can experience dissatisfaction and frustrations in their relationships with the improper use of texting.
A study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University involving 276 adults aged between 18 and 25 years old offered a snapshot of the effects of texting on their relationships.
According to the researchers, using text messages to apologise, to settle disputes, or even to make decisions undermined the quality of a relationship, from the perspective of women. Men, in turn, divulged that too much texting lowered the quality of a relationship.
The BYU researchers said that technology plays a crucial role in relationship formation. However, couples should also be mindful of the way they use these platforms and how these can damage their relationships.
Specifically, the researchers pointed out that for key issues crucial to maintaining a relationship like resolving fights or making key decisions, texting is not the best platform to use. Using technology can only disrupt the emotional connection between partners. Hence, it should not be used in lieu of real, face-to-face conversations.
The main reason why texting can prove to be harmful to relationships, especially when used for key conversations, is that it can only paint a partial picture of the emotional spectrum involved. It cannot show the face of disappointment of one partner or the breadth of other emotions involved.
Does that mean that you should avoid texting your partner entirely? Think of texting, and even similar platforms, as a double-edged sword. Use it correctly and during appropriate times, and you can cultivate your relationships. Use it as a crutch, however, and you can sabotage your personal relationships.
If you need some relationship help, please search our listings of counsellors and relationship therapists that specialise in relationship and marriage issues.