While many people believe that smartphones are harmful to relationships and friendships, phones actually offer far more benefits than we give them credit for.
They allow us to connect with people across the globe as well as to make new friends and stay in touch with old ones. In fact, without these devices, many people would completely lose touch with others once they were physically separated.
How Smartphones Affect Your Relationships
Keep reading to learn about some of the ways smartphones bring, and keep people together. Here are 5 of the main ways in which smartphones affect your relationships:
1. Couples Stay Connected in Long-Distance Relationships
The long-distance relationship is one of the most challenging types. Some couples go several months (or even years) before they get to see their significant other again. In the meantime, they make up for their separation by connecting via smartphone.
Along with texting and calling, apps like Snapchat and Instagram let couples share what they’re up to and send messages about their days. There are even couple-specific apps where people can share photos and talk about what’s going on in their lives.
This makes being away from your significant other much more bearable than it was in earlier days.
2. Smartphones Help Us Remember Dates and Events
Previously, people would have to make note of a certain date and time and write it down in their calendar, or hope they remembered. Smartphones create multiple opportunities to remember important events.
For example, almost any app or email can sync to Google or Apple calendars to remind you of date plans or group activities. Facebook reminds people about their friends’ birthdays, and there are meetup and event apps that log specific days and times to remember.
It’s easy to build a social life overnight when you don’t have to write everything down.
3. Old Friends Can Keep in Touch or Reconnect
It can be difficult when a friend moves away or goes to college and you no longer get to see him or her often.
Fortunately, smartphones like the Apple iPhone 6s, with its large HD display and two excellent cameras, make keeping in touch, or reconnecting after a few years, much easier.
Old high school friends can catch up via FaceTime to see how each is doing or use Facebook to see pictures of their new homes and lives.
Even if people haven’t talked for a few years, and maybe have even changed their numbers and email addresses, it’s easy for them to find one another and re-establish friendships.
4. Smartphones Can Cover Up Embarrassing Moments
While there are plenty of ways your smartphone can highlight embarrassing moments (like last weekend’s tailgate party photos on Facebook), it can also help you save the day and cover up errors.
For example, users who missed a friend’s birthday can order one-day or two-hour delivery on Amazon and send a gift to a friend almost immediately. Similarly, local delivery and food apps let people buy gifts and have them sent within a few hours.
Smartphones can even present opportunities to get out of a bad date with apps that send you a phone call at a certain time that you can use as an out — just in case your date isn’t the one.
5. Smartphones Improve Communication for Many
Smartphones can make it easier for people to respond to messages or even flirt with each other through writing. Not everyone communicates well verbally, and many struggle in social situations.
Communicating online allows people to craft exactly what they want to say and come up with a perfect response without as much intimidation or social pressure. In this way, smartphones have helped those who have autism, social anxiety, or stutters to form bonds and social circles that they might not have otherwise.
One good example of how smartphones can build relationships became evident with the release of Pokémon Go.
One study has found that children and young people who have autism are stepping outside and meeting others whom they might never have talked to — all under the guise of catching imaginary monsters.
Without smartphone technology, this wouldn’t be possible.
Smartphones definitely have their faults. Some people refuse to put them down and actually damage relationships with too much texting, Snapchatting, and Instagramming. But that doesn’t mean that smartphones are inherently bad.
It’s fair to say that they have helped more relationships than they’ve hurt, and they will continue to do so in years to come.