According to statistics, the number of worldwide smartphone subscriptions surpassed six billion this year, with the greatest totals of users being registered in the USA, India and China. There can be no denying the impact of a technological development that was initially launched less than 20 years ago (IBM made the first smartphone commercially available in 1994). But has the use of these devices always been a positive for relationships? Unfortunately, for all the convenience these appliances offer, there is also a downside to be taken into account.
A boost for dating
If the use of smartphones has been an undoubted success story in terms of popularity, the same can be said of joining a dating site. This is fast becoming the default method of interaction for so many singles and no wonder. Users are faced with an incredible choice of diverse sites and apps, the latter easily downloaded from Apple or Google Play, Amazon App, and other stores. Once someone has access to this technology, literally in the palm of their hands, they can sign up to a matchmaking platform and begin interacting with potential partners wherever they are. Commuters on trains or customers sitting in a coffee shop can flirt with fellow singles at any time. There are specialized
Much as having such ready access to a sleek communication tool is a plus for most people, this vision needs to be tempered with another point of view. Sometimes social media can become addictive. Individuals might be enjoying a date together, perhaps seated opposite each other in a restaurant. But that device in their pockets is often never too far from their attention span, especially if either party neglected to mute the sound or temporarily disable notifications. Many a romantic evening has been hindered by the urge to check the constant stream of text alerts, WhatsApp pings, Instagram likes or replies to Tweets. It is a far from unusual sight to witness these supposedly romantically inclined people bowed over their separate smartphones, fixated on what’s happening in the digital dimension rather than interacting with whoever is closest.
The allure of electronic gadgets can be particularly potent at nighttime. Where once upon a time couples would have pored over a book, people now take phones to bed, unable to resist the urge to check out
Having success flexible access to a device has also benefitted so many other aspects of human interaction.