4 Ways the Digital Landscape is Affecting our Relationships

Relationships


So I’ve been working in the world of social media for about seven years now – it’s not a constant thing but I certainly feel conflicted from time to time when it comes to my line of work. Not only are we spending more time in front of our screens in general (most adults are spending 12 hours a day consuming media) but we are choosing to explore a lot of our relationships digitally vs. having real, live, face-to-face interactions. The anthropologist in me would like to point out that we (as a species) were not necessarily built for this type of interaction – but instead, we built this kind of communication to satisfy some of our most primitive needs. Essentially, we figured out a way to get convenient satisfaction via digital and social interactions – quick hits of dopamine at your fingertips, cultural evolution at its finest.

We always hear about the negative ways that social media and the digital landscape are affecting our relationships: we don’t talk as much in person, social media is a highlight reel, we expect instant gratification and our expectations, in general, are much higher, etc. But is it really all negative? If you’re a pessimist, sure. Let’s explore a few of the negative and positive ways the digital landscape is affecting our relationships:

We are better connected than ever before:

Never before in the history of our species have we had the ability to connect with so many people from so many walks of life. I met my boyfriend on Instagram (confirmation that it does, in fact, go down in the DMs) and I have countless friends who have met their partners online (e.g., Tinder, Bumble, etc.). Also, news flash: the digital space isn’t only for dating, it’s for bringing people together in general. Whether it be the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, or any other cause that is near and dear to your heart – technology has enabled us to come together when it matters most.

We are more creative and innovative:

Social media depends on the creation, participation, and sharing of different content. This has not only gotten us more in touch with ourselves (sometimes a little too in touch, ahem, narcissism) but it has inspired us to create and innovate unlike ever before. There are businesses that are literally being born online (oh hey Wit & Delight!) and it’s pretty cool.

We expect convenience + perfection:

With the rise of social media and technology, we have become accustomed to instant gratification, convenience and this idea of perfection. As far as convenience goes, we can pretty much get all of our social interaction within arms reach and sometimes without even actually talking to anyone; this is creating the illusion that our needs for social interaction are being satisfied when in reality, they are not. This not only affects our person-to-person relationships, it also seems to affect our expectations as consumers and having the ‘perfect’ experience. I was chatting with some friends over the weekend about how I’m always looking at menus online or reading Yelp reviews before deciding on going to a restaurant. What ever happened to just rolling with the punches and being okay if everything isn’t perfect? Experiences are always inherently good, even when they’re bad. Next time you’re traveling, instead of anxiously reading yelp reviews, ask the locals where the best brunch/lunch/dinner spot is.

We’re bad at being present:

Have you ever seen two people on a date and they are both sitting on their phones basically the whole time? Or have you yourself been “watching” Netflix and realize you’ve actually just been excessively scrolling Instagram? We tell ourselves we are really good at multitasking when in fact, we’ve become really good at not being fully present. Our consciousness and our ability to reflect/plan ahead is what sets us apart from other species – technology heightens this capability and sometimes I’m not so sure it’s a good thing.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a small peek into how our relationships are affected by the digital landscape. Life is all about balance; it’s important we consider all of the negative and positive ways technology affects us. Appreciate the positive things, be mindful of the negative, and do what feels right.

Image via Urban Outfitters


BY Katie Weed - March 12, 2018

Did you know W&D now has a resource library of  Printable Art, Templates, Freebies, and more?

take me there 

Arrow Alone

Get Our Best W&D Resources

for designing a life well-lived

14 Comments  +

add a comment

  1. Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    March 12th, 2018 at 10:26 am

    This is a great read. The digital landscape gets a bad rep for disconnecting us – and while that’s true, they’ve also brought along so many benefits! Thanks for highlighting these! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Katie Weed

    March 27th, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks Charmaine!

  3. Eva

    March 12th, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I’m working hard at staying present and taking into account the things I’m responsible for on the day-to-day. I definitely feel like an internet junkie, but I try to find balance.

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  4. Katie Weed

    March 27th, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Staying present can be so hard in today’s world. You’ve really gotta work at it in order to make it a habit. We got this!

  5. james

    March 14th, 2018 at 4:36 am

    very nice

  6. Katie Weed

    March 27th, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks James!

  7. Laurel Bledsoe

    March 15th, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Working from home it is so easy to never stop and get out to interact. Your post has inspired me to make a habit of finding other places to go work. A change of venue so to speak.

  8. Katie Weed

    March 27th, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Hey Laurel – I can totally relate. Hopefully you’ve been able to try something new!

  9. team viewer alternative

    April 11th, 2018 at 3:47 am

    NICE POST AND USEFUL TO EVERYONE

  10. places to visit in andaman

    April 11th, 2018 at 4:43 am

    VERY NICE ARTICLE AND HELPFUL

  11. places to visit in andaman

    April 11th, 2018 at 4:44 am

    NICE POST

  12. Touch Here

    May 7th, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Good job, thanks for sharing such type of information.

  13. tech buzz

    June 4th, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you a lot for sharing this put up with us. It becomes very informative post. I was given an amazing writing ability out of your blog.

  14. Best Podcasts to Motivate You to Go After Your Goals – Camille Styles

    October 19th, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    […] featured image via wit & delight […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MORE LIKE THIS:

Why Decorating Your Home Is Good for Your Mental Health

What 10 Years of Blogging Taught Me

The Hidden Benefits of Being Incredibly Uncomfortable

6 Easy-to-Grow, Can’t Kill Houseplants for Beginners

The Golden Rule: A Dream Career Built From Love, Loss and Resilience

Introvert Dating An Extrovert? Here’s How To Make It Work

Tornadoes to Tablescapes: Life Inside the Lifestyle Blog

Black, White and Love All Over

Marriage – A Requirement of Commitment?

Women vs. Women, and a Little Thing Called “Self-Respect”

Homemade Green Tea and Honey Mask

An Apartment of Firsts: A Personal Story

A Fresh Take on Organizing Your Life: Wit & Delight’s New Product Line Has Arrived

Have You Ever Experienced the Unexpected Magic of a Staycation?

Do Writers Have to Be Vulnerable to Succeed?

On Raising Little Readers

Hello from Jackson Hole! Here’s What I Packed for My Long Weekend Trip

The Indifference to Being Alive

MORE STORIES

Arrow Alone

the latest

Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.

Hi, I'm Kate. Welcome to my happy place.

Easily navigate all our recommended products across beauty, fashion, decor, and wellness. 

SHOP W&D Loves ›

follow  @WITANDDELIGHT

ELSEWHERE

PINTEREST

FACEBOOK

333k

3m

12.5k

INSTAGRAM