How Technology Is Increasing Divorce Rates – 2021 Guide
Many recent studies have found a direct correlation between technology usage in marriage and increased divorce rates. Many factors come into play and contribute to this correlation. However, the main overriding problem that technology brings into a relationship is an electronic barrier between people that often grows greater as the relationship ages.
Death of the Moment
Most people these days find every area of their life affected by technology. This is especially true for younger generations. Social networks put a lot of pressure upon many people. They see amazing things on their feed that their friends are doing and feel like they need to keep up. These pressures have always existed in society, and while they used to come with a good mixture of upside and downside, the scales are now becoming unbalanced.
While it isn’t really healthy to measure your life against that of others, when people used to tell stories about their adventures, it often inspired their friends and family to be more adventurous and try new things. That is still the case, but unfortunately, many people are no longer really experiencing the new things they try. They are too focused on getting the perfect picture or video to share on their social media to live in the moment.
When people had to tell the story of what they did in order to share it with their friends, they were fully immersed in the experience. Now that so many people are letting their technology do the talking, though, it is much more important for them to capture that moment to share with other people than it is to experience the moment themselves. As the kids say, “pics or it didn’t happen.”
While this can be simply disappointing for an individual, if they realize that they missed out on truly experiencing something remarkable, for couples it can be backbreaking. Living in the moment from time to time is critical for partners to keep their relationship strong. Experiences kept private between a couple tend to be far more precious than those shared over social media.
Devoting Too Much Time to Technology
Another way in which technology stands in the way of relationships is that there is only so much time in the day. When people spend hours in front of a screen while at home, between that and work, there is very little time left for the couple to actually do things together. This lack of interaction between a couple understandably tends to lead to them growing apart.
Disparity in Usage
Much like couples who drink alcohol at disproportionate rates to one another, partners who use social media at disproportionate rates often face difficulties. When one person in a relationship wants to spend more time having direct interaction with their partner, and the other is content to spend more time on Facebook or Instagram, it can quickly lead to unhappiness.
The partner who is less focused on technology is likely to grow jealous. They will likely feel that their partner is more focused on others than they are on themselves and worry that their partner’s interest in them is waning. This is especially true because technology usage tends to increase as the relationship progresses. New couples are likely to spend far more time in direct interaction than those that have been together for five years.
Talking Vs. Texting
Another factor that comes into play is the change in how couples communicate. There is more communication between couples now than there was 30 years ago, due to cell phones and the internet. However, increased communication doesn’t necessarily lead to a stronger connection.
While you are clearly going to be able to make the best connection with your partner if you are face to face, talking on the phone can also have a very positive impact on a relationship. Texting, though, does not provide that same feeling of closeness.
Couples that primarily communicate through text messages rather than phone calls tend to feel much less connected to their partner. The tone of voice and duration of a phone call can help to increase the feeling of intimacy and understanding between a couple. Texting, on the other hand, fails to bring couples together in the same way. There is often too much room for misinterpretation within a text message.
Over a phone call or in person, you can usually tell if the person you are talking to misunderstood something you said and took it the wrong way. In a text message, however, you typically can not.
There is also the knowledge that you likely won’t have the full attention of your partner while communicating through text. They are very likely texting with other people as well and quite possibly have their attention split even further among other activities. This can easily cause a couple to feel disconnected even when they are communicating throughout the day.
Money Also Plays a Role
Technology can be expensive. The problem is worse than ever in our current society, where a new and improved product seems to be released daily. For couples who have a member that needs all the latest gadgets, the financial costs can be substantial. Money issues have always been one of the leading causes of divorce. Couples trying to stay up to date are likely to face many money problems unless they have a substantial income.
Technology Also Affects How People Get Divorced
This is especially true now that so many legal procedures have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many changes have been made to how cases are handled, regarding technology. Some of these changes are most likely temporary, but others will probably be made permanent. One of the main differences is the amount of legal activity that is being dealt with remotely.
There are differences in how greatly technology has affected procedures in litigated vs. mediated divorce. Read more to learn about divorce statistics and why they matter.
The court is currently allowing many mediations to take place over platforms like Skype or Zoom in order to protect the health of all participants. There are certainly many benefits to technology, but we need to have better education and awareness about healthy behaviors in regards to technology to enjoy better relationships.