Technology’s effect on interpersonal relationships

Close your eyes for a second a think back on the fond childhood memories of a summer with no responsibilities.  With a summer job still years away and high school waiting for you down the road, most of your time is spent deciding what to do with all your free time. With unlimited possibilities and all options on the table you opt for the easy, boring and predictable crime show marathon on television.  An unclear amount of time has gone by when you hear your mom come through the door, home after a long day of work. “Have you been watching TV all day?? It’s a beautiful summer day! Go outside and do something with your friends, you’re wasting all your time in front of the TV!” It’s a story every kid knows too well, all you want to do is relax, but mom and dad are convinced you’re slowly wasting away with every hour you spend in front of the TV, video game system, or computer. All these years later and I only have one question, were they right?  Technology has absolutely exploded in the last 20 years, 2016 is America’s most technologically advanced year to date and our country shows no sign of halting advancements.  With that being said, the question is more prevalent today than ever before, is technology hurting interpersonal relationships?

technology-hurting-relationshipsAccording to technology is negatively impacting families more than anyone else.  Children in today’s society are immersed in technology from an extremely young age, plopped in front of the television by a tired parent and showered with gifts like gaming consoles and smartphones once gifted to “kids” ten years their senior.  Children are learning how to behave (both in childhood and adult life) from the example set by sit-coms, reality and animated TV shows, and movies.  One study produced findings that children fully immersed in technology did not greet/notice their parent upon return home from work 50 % of the time, and it’s clear that at the very least a child’s attention is significantly diminished when in the area of a screen, whether that be a phone, laptop, or plasma.  While the explosion of technology currently happening in America is beneficial to all of society for many reasons, is it important that as a country we do not sit idly behind screens and neglect relationships with relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, Instead, it’s important that we use recent advancements in technology to forge a stronger bond with one another, effectively using technology as a medium by which to learn, develop, and grow closer as people.

10 thoughts on “Technology’s effect on interpersonal relationships

  1. Samuel Deluca

    This is a blog I can definitely relate to. Without social media and internet I believe our society would be way more social from a face to face standpoint. However, the internet and social media has opened up a whole new realm of people I would never meet or hangout with if it wasn’t for the internet resources I have to communicate with these people for a distance.

  2. Jen Malespina

    This post is so true and definitely very relatable. I all too often see toddlers glued to an iPad or iPhone and think it’s ridiculous. When I was that young I played with dolls and stuffed animals, I didn’t stare a screen all day. It seems this is such a huge problem in a time when technology is so relevant. Here’s an article that gives a lot of insight on the problems with too much technology use

  3. dcd5251

    I absolutely agree with this blog post. My ten year old cousin spends more time playing on her tablet that she got for Christmas than she does socializing with my family members, and that is certainly a scary thought. Luckily, when I was a kid in the summer, I was at the Jersey Shore so I had plenty of options for things to do. My family and I would go to the beach at 12:30 and we would not come home until 6. We loved the beach so much that I never found myself staying inside unless it was a rainy day. Today on the other hand, kids are too okay with sitting in and not enjoying their time doing other productive things besides Netflix. I personally was never like that because my dad always preached doing something other than lounging around the house all day. I know that when I am a parent I am going to try my hardest to make sure my kids are not glued to the computer or phone screen, and are enjoying the company of other kids and people.

  4. Randall Stansbury

    We were actually just talking about this in my SOC class the other day!! I think that from an adult perspective the amount that young people are on their phones is especially dangerous and scary for the future of society. Sometimes I even wonder what people did before cellphones when they were sitting on the subway for example. Did you talk to the stranger sitting next to you? Or did you just stare at your empty hands instead of your phone screen? I think that there is a really interesting debate going on, as shown by this article that I found, but I also think that it is extremely difficult to tell if people were more social before technology because that is an extremely difficult thing to measure.

  5. Jeffrey R Nelson

    I really liked your post because I think it is one of the biggest problems facing the generation of children growing up in America today. Even for millennials we are experiencing the adverse side affects of too much screen time. I firmly believe that digital technology is capable of enhancing human life in many ways, but there is a flip side to the coin, and that is the negative affects of too much technology at a young age. I think that digital technology can be used in a way to educate children better than the traditional methods we have been accustomed to using. But there should be a limit as to how much technology use a child is exposed to.

  6. Candace Burke

    I actually did a research project on a similar topic last year. I researched how technology is affecting our relationships with others. What I found is very similar to what you found. When people use their phones or technology more frequently, their social skills and ability to have a face to face conversation are diminished. Your post reminded me of this information and that I should probably put my phone down every once in a while.

  7. cmt5658

    I can really relate to this post, and I am not proud of that. I have spent many summer days in my bed watching an entire season of netflix, or completely ignoring someone when talking to me because I am refreshing the same boring twitter feed. I understand that this is a problem, but I also know that I am not alone in that problem. The Huffington Post had an interesting article ( that explains another way how technology ruins relationships, and that is by preventing real life conversations and tone.

  8. Christina Rae Locurto

    I loved reading your blog post, because it’s absolutely true. Everywhere we go, people are on their phones (usually on social media sites) instead of interacting with the actual world around them. Here is a CNN article that talks about how kids improved in school when teachers removed phones from the classroom. And I agree. I remember during high school I would be constantly checking my phone, especially if the class was boring. Technology, while advanced our society and made it something great, has also cursed us in a sense too.

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