Technology and Their Impact on Relationships

1 January 2017

It allows family members, lovers, and friends to have instant contact through voice, text messages and email and allows for spontaneous planning of impromptu meetings and activities. According to Bittman, M et al (2008, p 648) “the mobile phone significantly increases people’s capacity to maintain intimacy at a distance and over the course of the day… This capacity for perpetual contact gives rise to new forms of intimacy, such as forming, deepening and dissolving relationships via SMS messages and enhancing the ability to be communicatively present while being physically absent. It allows parents to check on their children and for children to be able to contact their parents. The Internet has also allowed people to form online relationships with ‘virtual’ friends.

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“A major research study published in December 2008 on the use of digital technologies by adults from 16 industrialised nations suggests that “on average [they] spend a third of their leisure time online, belong to two social networking sites and have regular contact with 16 people who they have ‘virtually’ met on the internet” (TNS 2008, 2 as cited in Harrison, R, 2009, p. 10). These kinds of relationships while may seem harmless have had negative effects; people cheating on partners with people they have met online and teenagers becoming obsessed with Social Networking Sites, constantly checking and updating their ‘status’ and messages. Social movements have been affected in regards to it becoming easier to organise protests through the use of mobile phones and Internet to promote awareness of a cause and issues that affect society and the world.

It’s faster, cheaper and easier and you can reach a wider audience with the use of social networking sites. People also have the chance to interact, have their say and join in on debates. ‘At their core, social movements are about group formation, and suddenly the tools exist to make it much easier to bring people together’ (Brecher, J, Costello, T, Smith, B, 2009) The internet has also become more simpler and easier to use, allowing people who would never before have gone online to access social networking sites and form or join groups. The web is no longer the exclusive dominion of the young and highly educated, and as this trend continues it will allow social movements to cheaply and easily reach out to increasingly diverse constituencies. ’ (Brecher, J Costello, T, Smith, B, 2009) The negative side of technology’s impact on social movements is that you loose the face-to-face contact that can impact on a more lasting personal level and group forming and sharing of knowledge can be great but misinformation can lead to the spreading of false rumours, anonymous slander and racism.

Technology has had a big impact on education. Mobile phones with their ability to access the internet has made it a great way to look up information, wireless internet and faster connections have made working and learning on computers at home much more convenient and easier. More and more schools, TAFE’s and Universities are offering courses online making it possible for people to merge home life, work life and study more conveniently. It also allows people access to study that live in remote areas or overseas.

As mobile phones become more sophisticated and inexpensive, students can read and email documents, do research on the Internet and manage their assignments all from their mobile phones. Teachers can send pod casts and hyperlinks within a document to encourage students to read further on topics that might interest them. Accessing books with mobile technology is becoming more readily available to, there is no need to go to the bookstore when you can download books to your phone.

The negative aspect of having all this information available is that the amount of information can be very overwhelming and that anyone can put information on the Internet and it may not always be correct. It is important to always verify information and it’s source. Mobile phones and the technology behind them have become a very big part of modern day life, most people own one and use it, whether it is for simple phone calls and text messaging or for use as a more complex multimedia device, it has impacted on the way we do everyday things.

Even though mobile phones and technology have some negative aspects on a whole they have had a positive influence and have changed society for the better. We are more connected, can express our feeling more easily, can join groups with people that have the same interests and have instant access to information and education from our home computers, laptops or mobile phones. Reference list Bittman, M, Brown, J, Wajcman, J, ADJ 2009, ‘The cell phone, constant connection and time scarcity in Australia’

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