Distance is no longer the curse for couples it once was perceived to be years ago. Technology has made long distance relationships stronger than ever. Long gone are the days of hand written letters with days, if not weeks of waiting involved to hear from your loved one. A University of Missouri study claims that 88% of long distance couples are texting on a day-to-day basis and 15% video calling daily. So, our smart devices are keeping us close in all but physical ways to the ones we love. However large the distance between us. So it should be unsurprising that 96% of long distance Skype couples believe it gives them a closer connection to their loved one. It’s easy to imagine that will improve with the rise of virtual reality, and eventually touch technology.
Not so long ago, our hopes of meeting the one were largely dependent on friends, who we worked with or who our family knew. Now over 25% of us use dating services. An incredible 35% percent of American couples married between 2005 and 2012 began on the likes of Match.com or Tinder. Imagine what that number is today.
Technology has allowed us to romantically connect with more people than was possible a couple of decades ago. Bringing together those who would have never crossed paths otherwise. It’s not all sun and rainbows though as there is research to suggest too much choice can cause its own issues. That unobtainable idea of Mr. or Miss Perfect being a ‘swipe’ away. Especially in a less forgiving, faster paced dating market where there is always another option. But those who do successfully find the one online are reportedly happier in marriage than those who meet in other ways. So perhaps we’re getting close to finding the ‘perfect’ match after all.
While technology has changed the way we meet other like-minded individuals in a largely positive way, our obsession with our phones and laptops in our day-to-day lives does have its consequences too. According to Pew Research Center, 42% of people in serious relationships between the ages of 18 and 29 feel their partner is distracted by their mobile phone when they’re together. Whether it be responding to work emails or simply Facebook-scrolling, there’s plenty to suggest a lot of us are addicted and overly reliant on our devices, probably more than we’re willing to admit. In a world where most of us feel like we’re over worked, it’s important for all of us to remember to unglue ourselves from and put away the smartphone from time to time. Spending some valuable face-to-face time with our loved one instead.
Whether you met your partner online or not, it’s likely the two of you will end up connected online. Whether it be through Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever your social media of choice is, your online profile will make friends with theirs. These digital representations of ourselves can reveal so much about who we are. 71% of online daters have admitted to Googling their prospective dates before they meet. The implications of our personal data being so readily available online can be understandably worrisome. This is also potentially letting us make better decisions about who we date and feel safe enough to meet. When things progress to relationship status, the pressure of social media can be make or break.
Experts believe that couples oversharing online can be doing so to mask insecurities. With a separate study concluding that the more ‘selfies’ posted on social platforms, the higher the chance of relationship conflict and jealousy. But it’s not all doom and gloom if you’re feeling like you want to spread the love online. Research also suggests that those who make their relationship ‘Facebook Official’ tend to be more committed, invested and satisfied than those who don’t. So it’s not necessarily about keeping things offline, rather about finding the right balance between online and off.
It’s evident that the way we connect with our loved ones is evolving with technology, for better and for worse. It’s estimated that by 2031, over half of us will meet our partner online. The integration of technology in our lives, and now our love lives, seems near impossible to avoid. Maybe this Valentine’s Day, instead of focusing on getting a romantic selfie for Instagram, we put down the smartphones. Lets connect with the loved one in front of us, without the technological distractions.
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