Couples are using the internet and mobile technology to communicate with one another, to keep up-to-date with information and news about others. Combined with the ease of access to these communication mediums and their instant and constant influence over couple relationships, its presence and impact cannot be underestimated or ignored.
Research suggests that the impact of the internet, mobile phones and social media on couple relationships is either an important or emerging issue for many couples and understanding the influence and implications of internet, mobile phone and social media use on your relationship and the implications on your partner is critical.
The Internet and Mobile Communication
Data from the We Are Social 2017 Global Digital report reveals:
- More than half the world now uses a smartphone;
- Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone;
- More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones;
- More than half of all mobile connections around the world are now ‘broadband’;
- More than one in five of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days.
Whilst most of the qualities that help sustain a good relationship have not changed – commitment, effective communication, constructive conflict and patience, honesty, forgiveness amongst others – there is strong evidence that couples are using these technologies to enhance their relationships. Both the opportunities and threats associated with the use of internet and mobile technologies by couples and the use of them by couples must be understood and considered to ensure we remain connected and social media does not impact negatively on our relationships.
Whilst various surveys suggest that social media use enhances intimate relationships and connection with the community (78% say it helps maintain relationships with friends & family), 95% are worried about online privacy and 87% as to the amount of time their partner is online.
Even more alarmingly in the US, Facebook is cited in 1 in 5 divorces and in the UK, 1 in 8 partners claim they use their phone more than talking to them. Social media has many benefits for an effective society but there are also areas to watch out for.
Ask this of your partner: What barriers can I implement to protect my relationship from the perils of Social Media use in my relationship?
Tune in next week for more relationship tips and ideas, including how to minimise the impact of social media on my relationship.
- Digital in 2017 Global Overview Report: We Are Social and Hootsuite, www.wearesocial.com/special-reports/digital-in-2017-global-overview
- Knight, K. Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange, 28 May 2012.
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