Love and Tech: 3 Ways Technology Can Improve Our Relationships

Technology gets a bad rep for taking a toll on romance. But can we actually make it work for us to build happier, healthier relationships? Let’s dive into three simple ways to get the full romantic benefits out of your daily tech use.

Technology has brought us closer together and further apart than ever. But this constant awareness of screens, notifications and connectivity is a side effect of what is often called “ubiquitous computing.’ This means technological interactions are no longer only occurring when we sit down at our desks – we are using technology either directly or indirectly, basically every minute of every day.

What sounds like a pretty scary concept at first, has also brought about some incredible changes to how and when we are able to interact. For better or worse (and a lot of it has been for worse), as a result of our increased connectivity, we have thousands of new options for how we engage with other humans and form connections.

Couple having coffee together
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


Technology has not only changed the modes by which we interact, it’s completely changed the nature of our relationships – professionally, platonically and romantically. From “swiping right” to #couplegoals, technology has given us an entirely new etiquette and terminology for how we act in modern relationships.

While technology is usually thought of as the enemy of romance, it doesn't have to be. In fact, good tech habits can actually promote healthier, more loving partnerships.

Here are three key things to consider as you build your modern connected relationship:

Make notifications work for you

Notifications have a bad reputation for a good reason. Most smartphone apps are built on business models that require ‘stickiness’ i.e. they are created to get users addicted, so they often implement methods like regular notifications to hook users into spending time on the app.

Notifications have a bad rep for a good reason
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

The best thing you can do to retrain your brain is to take away the cues for checking your phone. For example, turning off all notifications from apps that you don’t need to know about right away, or restricting work-related notifications to office hours.

Additionally, in most messaging apps like Whatsapp or Telegram, you can mute certain conversations that don’t require an immediate response (like chatty group threads) to check later.

In moderation, well-timed notifications can actually be helpful for remembering special events or moments with your partner. In our hyper-scheduled lives, often we forget the life part of the work-life balance. Setting personal reminders about birthdays or important moments for your partner is an easy way to wish them luck before their big presentation or make sure you never forget an anniversary.

Know your modes

At work, we are constantly switching between different communication modes. These can be face-to-face meetings, texts, phone calls, Slack, Messenger, Skype, Whatsapp and dozens more.

Many of us who work in environments with different modes to choose from have developed a pretty good understanding of which mode fits certain situations. These choices are reinforced and challenged by certain group dynamics, such as when a colleague suggests meeting in person instead of a Slack conversation.

In our personal lives, it can be a bit more complex. The proper communication mode may not always be obvious. Likewise, we often have a relatively clear idea of emotional and personal boundaries in the workspace (at least one would hope), but we share a much wider set of potential interactions with romantic or platonic partners.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

There is no 'correct' way to know if you are using these new modes of communication appropriately, except to compromise with your partner. ‘Metacommunications,’ or talking about how you talk about things, is vital in making sure that you both feel heard in your conversations throughout the day.

It’s all too easy assume that your partner knows your expectations around communication – but this is often not the case. It falls to each of us individually to understand what form of communication works best for us, and to find ways to express this to our loved ones.

Respect the digital detox

In the age of ubiquitous computing, we talk regularly about digital detoxing, often conjuring picturesque visions of meditation retreats or spending time in the wilderness. The reality is that as our world grows increasingly hyper-connected, we need to build digital detoxing and good tech habits into our everyday lives.

In order to spend quality time together, it’s important to be present with our loved ones or partners. Being present may seem simple, however, there is regular competition between the person sitting in front of us and the phone sitting in our pocket.

Try scheduling tech-free time into your week
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

Taking away the potential trigger by putting your phone on airplane mode or leaving it in your bag can help, but isn’t realistic all the time. Setting aside tech-free time throughout the week – like a no-phone cocktail hour or digital detox Sunday – is a practical alternative, and a great way to build quality time into your routine.

Conclusion

Here at Senic, we think regularly about how technology impacts our lives - and how to make sure it’s a positive impact. We love hearing from your suggestions for how to improve our habits and use smart home and personal technology to its full benefit, without the drawbacks.

Please let us know your thoughts on how technology impacts your personal relationships (for better or for worse) at hi@senic.com. Can’t wait to hear from you!


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