The Changing Face of Relationships in the Digital Age: How Technology Impacts Our Bonds



The Changing Face of Relationships in the Digital Age: How Technology Impacts Our Bonds

It is a spectacle to watch our technology evolve to serve us in ways we could never have imagined a decade ago.

Its constant evolution has pushed forth a lot of new technologies that increase the capacity at which a human can work, as well as a lot of new technologies that were met with backlash as they often took something from us or gave too much of one thing to us.

With this in mind, how has technology affected our way of relating with others in this current day and age? Has it done us any good or has it harmed our relationships? And why does it even matter to know about these things?

What is the current state of technology’s influence on relationships?

With a staggering 5.04 billion people using social media, with 5.35 billion just being on surfing the internet, as of January 2024 (Statista, 2024), it is not too hard to conclude that most of our social interactions happen within these social media platforms, especially since we spend an approximate of 2 hours per day in them (Kemp, 2024).

Not to mention the 395 million individuals who choose to find love online rather than in person (Statista, 2024b). With these statistics it would be an understatement to say that technology has affected our way of relating because these reveal that it not only has affected it, we have truly become dependent on it.

Why is it relevant to know these?

Understanding how technology influences our interactions with other people is similar to knowing how to do anything. As a social species it will detrimentally affect us greatly if we choose to not communicate with others.

Not knowing the current way in which our species communicates, or insisting on our preconceived notions of how a human must communicate, is just like not being able to communicate with others at all.

We need to know the current communication landscape so that we can effectively communicate with others. Moreover, what is technology but a tool for us to use?

How can technology help with our relationships?

Let’s first look at what technology gives us today before discussing its benefits. First, it offers a longer range of connections; technology offers us a faster way of learning about something; technology constantly tries to improve human comfort; Technology encourages us to explore more things than what we currently know.

Along with more things that technology helps us avail, these four are already some of the biggest ways technology has influenced how we relate with others. And from these four as well.

It is not too difficult to see how beneficial technology can be to us humans. But if you really do need to know the benefits here are a few of them:

1. A longer range of communication: Having a loved one abroad or friends overseas is a common thing for many of us to have, and while yes we did have a way to communicate with them before, it is hard to deny that being able to communicate with them in real-time is A LOT better than how we used to communicate with them.

A longer range of communication is also a staple for all long-distance relationships, with how busy life is today writing a letter to your beloved and waiting for their response is painfully slow, not to mention dealing with anxious thoughts.

With today’s technology the excruciating length of time when waiting for a response is diminished by a lot, if not eradicated at all, and dealing with anxious thoughts is easier when you see your beloved’s face.

    2. A wealth of online resources: We mentioned earlier that it is easier to deal with anxious thoughts when you see your partner’s face, another thing that makes it easier to deal with them is the fact that the internet has a wealth of information that educates you on how you can go about dealing with these thoughts.

    Not only that, the internet also makes resources that help you start a conversation with others, maintain a friendship or romantic relationship, and a bunch of other online resources available to you, and at an almost instant speed!

    3. Shared experiences, even when far apart: We are not strangers to watch parties, gaming groups, sharing playlists, and of course late-night video calls. Our current technology offers us a lot more ways to communicate with each other so that we can improve our relationships even more by sharing experiences with our friends or loved ones even when we are countries apart from each other.

    How has technology negatively affected our relationships?

    Now, despite all of the good things technology has made available to us, it would be a crime to say that it has not allowed for negative effects to arise as well. Everyone acknowledges that technology is a double-edged sword and that much like all things that are good.

    Moderation must still be practiced so that we stay clear of these negative impacts. Knowing and understanding these negative effects helps us, at least, recognize the importance of moderation when using technology, which may help us steer clear of them ourselves. Here are a few of these negative effects:

    1. Distraction: First off is the most obvious one. We cannot deny that with the wealth of information available on the internet, there is a bombardment of information that is happening.

    Social media websites notify us of every single thing that happens within our accounts be it related to us or not, companies within the entertainment industry are competing with each other for our attention.

    It is hard to not know what is going on in the world around us, because news websites will notify us of the smallest things that can be called news. All of these added together, have affected our attention spans and the amount of time we spend with each other without the looming noise of notification pop-ups.

    2. Miscommunication: Miscommunication isn’t native to today’s technology, as a poorly structured letter can also cause miscommunication. But because we can send and receive messages at an instant we often do not think about what we’ve typed down or tend to misinterpret the messages we receive.

    Before, the length of time in between messages made us humans think deeply about the messages we sent and were sent to us by our friends or family, therefore making us less likely to misinterpret and miscommunicate our messages.

    3. Unrealistic expectations: Life is beautiful both in the good days and the bad. However, it is common in social media, or in any other forms of media today, to see the highlights of someone’s life and their relationships. Think why we don’t have it as good as theirs, even if it wasn’t intended to make us jealous.

    This in turn urges us to also post our highlights online for everyone else to see, thus continuing this vicious cycle. It’s common to be jealous, and no one lives in this world without even a tinge of envy towards someone at any point in their life, but because of the immense amount of unnecessary information that technology has availed us.

    It is much easier to fall envious of someone who is currently thriving in their lives, may this someone be fictitious or not, which urges us to set unrealistic standards for our own lives and relationships. 

    The way we communicate with our friends, family, or romantic partners has always been dependent on technology, the trends and fads that arise within our relationships are caused by the changes made in technology.

    Therefore not having knowledge of these things will greatly affect your relationships with other people, but if you do have even just enough knowledge so that you can communicate with others it will propel your relationships to greater heights.


    Kemp, S. (2024, January 31). The time we spend on social media — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights. DataReportal – Global Digital Insights. 

    Kessler, O. (2024, March 14). What’s the Impact of Technology on Relationships &  How to Cope. Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice. 

    Statista. (2024a, January 31). Worldwide digital population 2024. 

    Statista. (2024b, February 9). Digital Market Outlook: dating service users worldwide 2018-2028, by segment. 





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