The world is full of rapidly evolving technology, and with the changes to technology have come changes to how people connect and interact with one another. Even though the rapidly changing world is observable, it can be difficult to see how technology affects relationships.
When people hear technology, an image of breakneck communication can be conjured in their head. Instant messages, phone calls and social media have eliminated the sluggish communication that relied on men on horses to run a letter across a country or a wire connection to send a message.
Kelly Winfrey, assistant professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, said today’s rapidly evolving technology is “on demand”, it is always there for use and can be accessed with the press of a finger. By living in a time with constant technology, relationships can seem nonstop.
Although technology allows for constant communication, Evan Howard, senior in microbiology, said text messages can take the pressure off responding. Without exigency to respond due to always available technology, there is no pressure to constantly be in connection.
Without having to be in constant contact, but with the potential to be in contact, relationships can flourish by allowing those involved to communicate at their own discretion. With the ability to communicate whenever, and wherever, friendships that would not have been possible 10 years ago, are now easy to start and maintain.
Ten years ago, internet access and cell phones were not viewed as the necessities they are today. On top of the lesser importance placed on technology, social media was not as prevalent as it is today.
With more people owning devices that can be used to instantly communicate, as well as social media bringing people together, relationships are able to take place through the internet, no longer needing to leave one’s own home to connect to others.
With advances in technology, geography is not as major of a variable as it used to be. Young Moon, sophomore in sociology, said technology allows for people to stay in contact with one another even overseas. Having the ability to bypass geographical factors, relationships are not confined to location.
The internet allows for relationships to be easily maintained and formed. Howard mentioned that the internet allows for relationships to be formed that otherwise would not be possible. Even though long-distance friendships are not a new concept, the internet has allowed for long-distance friendships to be viable relationships.
How people communicate and how relationships will form and function will change in the future. Winfrey said technology changes quickly and frequently. With technology changing quickly and frequently, the future for how relationships will function can not be known for certain. However, it can be assumed that technology will continue to influence relationships.