Romantic relationships have always been hard for the simple fact that two separate individuals are merging into one. Now introduce technology into that mix and you have a situation that redefines the meaning of hardship. Technology is undoubtedly a blessing in many areas of our lives but it has the power to be just as much of a curse. Technology and the internet especially have devolved our relationships while advancing society in other ways. We all know that there can be a dark side to technological advancement, but have you ever considered how much it directly impacts an intimate relationship? Let’s take a look at some of the issues.
Social media can connect people together and be the catalyst for many relationships that form. However, once romantic relationships are made the effects of social media often turn detrimental. Having constant comparisons of your relationship right at your fingertips is very destructive. Of course the activities of friends online is not an outright comparison but it ends up becoming as such.
Then there is the issue of illusions and the power they represent. Humans, being visual creatures, often fall prey to appealing images very quickly. Social media is littered with filtered photos, photoshopped photos, and photos that only tell the partial truth of what is actually happening at the moment. There is so much dishonesty put out on social media platforms and people are often distracted by the illusion of it all. A good relationship can easily be ruined because of another person’s social media activity and how it grabs the attention of your partner or yourself. Next time you find yourself taken by someone’s online platform, and consumed by the idea you have of who they are, just remember to take it with a grain of salt. Looks are truly deceiving.
One of many technological advancements that has changed people’s lives is cosmetic surgery. Some of these changes have been enriching, helping to build confidence and correct issues. Others have had just the opposite effect. Cosmetic surgery has exploded in popularity in recent years but it hasn’t all been healthy. Celebrities of all ages have undergone asthetic procedures to stand out and build their careers, all the while setting trends for society to follow. Women have been especially sensitive to society’s beauty standards.
According to the American society of plastic surgeons around 18 million people underwent surgical and invasive cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2018, the overwhelming majority being women. The most common procedure was breast augmentation followed by liposuction and breast lift. According to the same study’s findings high media exposure and low self esteem were the motivating factors behind opting for cosmetic procedures. Today’s media features women drenched in cosmetic enhancements and silicone body parts trying to pass it all off as natural beauty. Relationships become affected by this as women begin to feel inadequate and unable to live up to these enhanced appearances.
Men become affected as well, comparing their partner with the images that confront them every day on their screens. The relationship suffers as feelings of attraction start to wane and people outside the relationship become more valued. Cosmetic surgery has brought on an all out war of who can look the most attractive and receive the most attention and we are all affected.
If anything has taken the excitement, passion and value away from relationships it would be pornography. Pornography as it stands today is absolutely devastating to relationship satisfaction. To have access to the most intimate moments of other peoples lives at the click of a button is a problematic issue for many reasons. Firstly it is an extreme illusion which any user can attest to. The performers by and large are not in a relationship and are hired to perform sexual acts. They are depended on to create fantasies that would hardly ever occur in day to day life.
Yet viewers aspire to these videos and desire to have the same experiences in their own lives. When they dont they feel inadequate and that something is missing. They may even become frustrated with their partner for not being more like the porn artists they watch. This issue affects men disproportionately, with porn consumers being 70% male versus 30% female. This can be interlinked with the issue mentioned earlier of the prevalence of cosmetic surgery procedures among women. The scenario plays out that men become increasingly consumed by porn and women then surgically change their appearances to match this interest. This scenario is not sustainable. Perfectly solid relationships can easily start to crumble when pornography enters the picture.
Another troubling phenomenon is dating apps. Dating apps are problematic because of how they falsely represent an alternative to relationship issues. If things are not working out in your relationship and you know there is an application on your phone full of available people then you are less inclined to fight for what you have. It is so much easier to give up and search for something “better.” Or to distract yourself from the issue at hand and start mingling with people online. The truth is that there is likely not a better option. The old saying goes the grass is always greener on the other side. The followup saying to that is the grass is greener where you water it. You can spend your life in pursuit of the next best thing and you will feel less and less satisfied over time. The solution is to find a relationship that works for you and work to maintain it. But with apps promising better options and tempting couples to give up it becomes very discouraging to do so. Dating apps can provide a solution to love or can be its very downfall, and this is the irony of them.
What to Do
The solution always comes back to you. Counter these seemingly massive obstacles by working within yourself and developing your skills of self love. Self love does not come easy; it is built up. It comes from a positive mindset, a proactive approach to life, and submerging yourself in an environment that helps you grow. Being surrounded by negative energy will pollute a positive mindset, so a positive mindset alone is not enough. Treat yourself well and eliminate the people, places and things that harm your soul.
You cannot love another person if you do not love yourself first. Once you have developed love and confidence from within you will no longer feel small, nor inadequate. You will not find it necessary to get risky cosmetic surgery or feel the need to compete with others. Your partner will always be more attracted to your confidence and strength than a silicone-packed person who isn’t sure they are enough. While others may be augmenting their body parts, you are augmenting your skills, personal care, health and mood. Being the strong, intelligent and educated person that a partner can rely on is the only thing that will keep a relationship together. Superficial solutions can never reach something as deep as love.