Does Technology Ruin Relationships?

Does Technology Ruin Relationships?

Every morning when the sun peeks through my
blinds… I wake up and hold my phone an inch away from my face to check Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram and Tumblr. Being “in the loop” of these social worlds
keeps us powerfully attached to our devices. A recent poll found that American adults would
rather live without a car, coffee or sex than live without a smartphone. So how does our relationship with technology
affect our relationship with other people? Last year a study found that excessive Facebook
use is damaging towards relationships, where higher use is correlated with a higher frequency
of feelings of jealousy and Facebook-related conflict. Our use of technology and devices is on the
rise and it does change the way couples of all ages communicate, show affection and share
special moments. Is it for better or worse? Or is it better and worse? This is Emily from Blink Pop Shift. Once our bodies are satisfied, once we have
the whole food, water, sleep and safety thing figured out our next big need is love. We
need to feel like we belong to a family, a friend group, a partnership. But is our technological
skin bringing us together or distracting us from real connection? its not clean or easy
but the real answer is that it’s a bit of both. And it means different things to different
people. How you use your smartphone depends on your attachment style in relationships.
One study found that a greater use of social network apps was positively associated with
intimacy and support for people with higher attachment anxiety. So it’s seems like there’s a feedback loop.
People with more attachment anxiety in relationships alleviate this by using their phone to seek
more contact and intimacy from their partner… which leads to more of an attachment to their
partner and maybe even to their phones itself. But personalization also contributes to our
attachment. Our handhelds become repositories of our contacts, messages and photos, of our
memories. They contain the record, a proof of love we can go back to and reread. Because
we use them tell our stories handhelds become icons of identity: emblems of social life
rather than merely an inert tool for enabling it. And so often it’s these handhelds and technology
that’s seen as the victim. Mobile phone addiction ruining relationships, 9 Ways Technology Can
Ruin Your Relationship, “Technology overload” can ruin relationships: expert, How Texting
Can Ruin Relationships. Sure, higher Facebook use leads to more feelings
of jealousy in relationships and Facebook-related conflict. But feelings aside, surely excessive
bacon consumption would lead to more bacon-related conflict and excessive Game of Thrones consumption
would lead to more Game of Thrones related conflict. In a recent study, only 10 percent of married
or committed Internet users say the Internet’s had a “major impact” on their relationship.
17 percent said it had a minor impact, and 74 percent said it had “no real impact at
all” or that the impact was positive. The internet and social media and your smartphone
and apps do change how we communicate, but they don’t ruin relationships. They’re tools
that enable your behaviours, whether you’re bad or good. It’s not technology, it’s you. We are not so much addicted to our devices
as we are to each other and the quantization of those interactions. And we have invented
ways around the previous boundaries of social accessibility: time and geography. Jump over to Blink Pop Shift, where Emily
takes a look back at the social tech of old and asks if things are really all that different. Let us know what you think about technology
and relationships in the comments. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to BrainCraft
for a new episode every other week.


  1. Well, most people I've dated recently I've met through the interwebs. I guess when it comes to me, technology has had a positive impact on my romantic relationships. Then there is the family relationship. Since I live in a different state from the parent folks, skype is the main way we keep in touch, more so than prior to video chat being around. I can see where it could be deleterious, but it's all a matter of how you use the tech.

  2. I wouldn't have my husband at all without technology, from the game we met in, to the time we spent together online, to me buying my plane tickets, to speaking to him daily even whilst he is at work and making sure he gets there safe every day. Our relationship is stronger and only possible because of technology.

  3. Great Video Vanessa! "It's not the technology that's the problem… it's you!" 🙂 hehe. I like it.

  4. I love this video and I do like that it's me and not my phone. I also love the fact that you brought in Emily. Both you and family always make me think and it's good to see that you' working together.

  5. Most of my relationships started from social media and the internet, so without them I wouldn't be in a relationship at all.

  6. "All this new technology is horrible. Why back in my day, before handaxes and tally sticks and fire, people had to actually grunt at each other!"

    People have been complaining about new technology since, literally, forever (or at least as long as we have records for). To put things in perspective, while smartphones and social apps are the current scapegoat for humans sucking, a few decades ago it was those old beastly phones tethered to the wall that only had one "app", called talking to each other. And before that we blamed newspapers. And before it was the printing press and widespread literacy in general. And so on, even back to Socrates who complained about kids these days. 🙂

  7. Not having a smart phone feels really good. It was an addiction. A habit that kept me from being out in the world when I was out of the house, and kept me from being 100% anywhere since my mind was always at least 10% on my phone at all times. Of course the first few months without one I felt like I was missing something all the time. Guess that emptiness is just fighting an addiction.
    Try going a day without your smart phone and feel your addictions burn.

    Since I don't need a phone for business I can communicate solely on Facebook.

  8. Hmmm… I love Brain Craft, but didn't this episode sound a bit more on the "opinion" side of things than on the "facts" side? hmmm… maybe it's just me. 

  9. I dont think Im addicted to my smartphone, but I do have to admit that I probably use it more than I should.

  10. I don't have a smartphone because everyone around me is so addicted to theirs. You go to a party and people are anxious to have a moment of silence, some even start having phone calls! It's really freaky and at the same time it makes me feel like I'm the odd one so I care less and less about talking to them, it's kind of a motivation to go and look for real people which is becoming very rare in this world dominated by digital interaction

  11. I've been using social media for as long as I've been using the internet. I started with a pokemon forum that helped me understand and connect with other pokemon fans. I'm really out of the loop when it comes to talking to people I really know on social media because I prefer to talk to them directly, or over the phone. So in a way I've been protected from all the bs that other facebook users get themselves into.

  12. I have met more people on the internet that I get along with than people in real life. For example: you, Jordan (Captainsparklez), Boogie2988, Matimi0, RivalxFactor, Hank and John Green etc. These are just the people I can think off the top of my head. Social media is +.

  13. A little suggestion: Leave the background music while a guest is talking. It's not as if it's unwatchable without it, but the sudden stop in music distracts a bit.

  14. Well I have seen a couple in a restaurant where the girl was busy reading a novel and the guy was busying with his ipad. I guess it doesnt matter what kind of "technology" . It obviously your passion about things and your partner. 

  15. I think we do allow technology to get in the way of our relationships. I have quite a few friends who are so connected with their phones that they wont put them down in order to have a conversation with the people who are around them. I also have a relative who came very near to a divorce because their spouse was spending so much time gaming… 
    This year while I was riding on a bus, I started to look around and notice how many people (people who all knew each other) were sitting on their smart phones instead of having quality conversations with the ones who surrounded them. 
    I can't help thinking that, if we didn't have smart phones, Ipads, and the such, we would be forced to have real life friends and relationships. 
    The internet, computers, and phones are all amazing tools to keep in contact and connection with ones we love… but I feel they are becoming THE source we go to in order to find connection.
    In essence, WE are the problem because we have allowed technology to take over… in another sense, I can't always help it if the people I'm around prefer technology over relationships.

  16. Okay…I'll say. You have actually convinced me that social media is not as much of a disease as I think it is. But, it still has its evils. I do hate the social-itis, but not as extremely as I would. I know what you're thinking, this is different because the maker of the videos actually interact with their views unlike Facebook. The view knows who they interact with, unlike that guy who claims to be some rich guy. Plus, do you think it's necessary to be friends with someone you don't know outside media?

  17. There were certainly some other issues, but one problem for me in my last relationship was that during much of the time we spent together (which was somewhat limited because of conflicting work schedules), my ex would be constantly looking at FB instead of us interacting/talking.

    Geez, I couldn't imagine picking a smartphone over a car, although I live in the suburbs which has no real other way of transport.  I'd also rather have sex on a regular basis than a smartphone!  🙂

    I recently lowered my FB use to nearly nothing, and I find my life less stressful for it.

  18. Sometimes, the idea of sending written letters in the way that people used to do sounds really romantic. Texting or using Facebook to communicate seems lame in comparison. But then again, if everybody sends letters, then that would be considered normal and people would still long for something else.

  19. You need to sort the sound levels out. The woman in the glasses sounded as if she had her mic at the other end of the room. Another thing: jump cutting is neither big nor clever.

  20. It's safe to assume that we all have watched this using some form of technology or another and have little consideration for what relationships were like before… I feel like the jury is hung on this one…that is…if it were a jury of your peers…who by law would have no access to their phones and social media…our modern society has yet to observe the long term effects on our bold steps forward into the information age…for instance…the whole 'Demolition Man' rendition of sex in the future being facilitated by headsets and software programming that made all physical contact obsolete…Evoking the question of What new horizons can we imagine in our future…Do we even have to physically meet each other anymore?…personally…as someone who remembers what is was like before social media…the smart phone…and even the internet boom of the 90's…my mind is more reflective on what we have lost than what we have gained..

  21. but I dont use social media! I use a computer, but for video games and youtube, not facebook, or twitter, or other stuff like that

  22. No NO… studies show that most people would rather live without sex than not have the INTERNET (they didn't say smart phone).

  23. Hi all, for the past few months I've been
    working on and studying for a project revolving around Social Media,
    addiction to it, its psycological effects and what its impact on todays
    society is. This survey is super important as its what I'm using for my main source for my writings which will be worth approximately 1/3 of my entire course.

    I'd also love if anyone could share this survey around as I'm aiming to get as many responses as possible. 🙂

    Link to Survey:

  24. such a turn off when a person can't stay off their phone for 10 minutes….. especially when youre talking and they arent even paying attention

  25. Thank you for your video. When people attempt to communicate via technology, you can't always see the other persons body language facial expressions and hear their vocal tonality. This can lead to us having a lack of empathy, kidness and compassion to each other. Being able to see and read other peoples feelings face to face is essential for positive, meaningful and caring communication.

  26. agree!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Technology is a tool, only.
    How we think, behave and interact makes us who we are. It is up to us to recognize what makes us better human beings.

  27. If it wasn't for technology I wouldn't have a (romantic) relationship. I met my fiancé on YouTube comments and we keep in contact via technology. As other have said, it's all in the way you use it. 'Online friends' usually don't lead to intimate connections, but now and then for some people, it leads to a happy life.

  28. Relationships are subject to entropy. Just like anything else. So they are ruined by themselves.

  29. I was born in 1987. In the 90's and early 2000 I found that people actually talked to one another comfortably. I was then in sales and still am in sales. These days if I want to make a sale, the first time I approach people they look at me like they just saw God for their first time. Come on, seriously. Don't make phone your life and actually become open towards talking face to face with people. These days, people don't have the balls to do that because they're hooked on to their phones. Moreover, people are afraid of rejection these days. Come on, rejection is part of life, whether you like it or not – rejection has been there since the day you were born.

    Stop Googling stuff and actually talk to people one on one and make connections and build relationships.

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