Note: This is a guest post from Laura James in Australia.
Today it seems like modern technology has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives, both the personal and the professional.
But what exactly does this mean for the modern marriage?
With divorce rates on the rise across the globe, we hear a lot of discussion about the negative effects of our techno-dependence. But what about the positives?
Let’s get to the bottom of it and take a look at the ways the internet, online dating, social media and smartphones are shaping marriages and relationships today.
Bringing people together
We constantly hear complaints that technology, despite good intentions, leaves us feeling more isolated than truly helping us to connect.
But what do the statistics tell us? When it comes to bringing people together, technology has never before played a bigger role than it does today. According to a survey carried out by the dating experts at eHarmony AU, an incredible 1 in 10 people have found love via the Internet.
With our busy lifestyles, few of us have the time, the funds or the confidence to hang around in bars waiting to bump into Mr. or Mrs. Right. Instead, thanks to the Internet and the rise of online dating, people are able to meet like-minded singles no matter how busy their schedule is.
And now with the boom in smartphone technology, people are able to get online, access their dating profile and start looking for love no matter their location.
Saying those special words
Survey results have also shown that thanks to the boom in technology people today have greater confidence when it comes to expressing their feelings.
More and more people across Australia are being told “I love you” for the first time via email and social media sites, such as Facebook.
Last year in NSW alone, 1 in 10 people heard the special news via an email. While for people who are dating in Melbourne, 1 in 7 Victorians have said the words through a text message.
Covering the distance
In today’s globalized and ever-changing society, very few marriages are completely the same.
It’s not uncommon for our careers to take people to the other side of the country, or even to the other side of the world. Technology has been invaluable in keeping marriages together across huge distances that would previously have been impossible to negotiate.
Programs like Skype also give couples the next best alternative to each other’s company: the chance to see and hear each other for free. More immediate than snail mail and more affordable than international phone calls, technology is invaluable for keeping marriages together no matter what the distance.
Knowing when to switch off
Like all things in life, you need to set boundaries in order for technology to play a healthy role in your marriage.
It’s important to draw a clear line between our work and our home lives, which means switching off the Blackberry and ignoring your evening emails.
Be sure to give your partner your complete attention when you interact and leave your mobile phone in your handbag to avoid sending texts or playing on apps.
Thanks for posting, Dustin. Your point of knowing when to switch off is an issue that a lot of married and engaged couples face and a habit they find difficult to break. Even when couples do their best to ignore emails or shut off their laptops, they often spend their time watching another screen – the TV.
You’ve got a great point Douglas. TV is another couples killer. Maybe trying to watch a movie together and then talk about it is a good option for TV maniacs!
I just wish that my husband spends time with me after his work.
Dustin I can fully relate to the “knowing when to switch off” paragraph. With me and my husband, it’s usually unintentional. When we want to have a quiet night at home, the phones are off, the laptops are kept away. We enjoy a lovely dinner and then for lack of anything better to do, we “spend time” together watching the TV!! And that’s exactly what we’re not doing…spending time together! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for technology. My husband travels some, and we’re constantly on the phone or texting and they are such life-savers! Imagine having to wait all day for him to find a pay phone and call you. So I agree with you, technology is great but the key is finding that perfect balance!