Super timely and original article today from Australia's Daily Life, you guys! It's headlined, "How technology is affecting our relationships and sex lives." Sexual health therapist Matty Silver writes, "It seems that our obsession with all things digital can be damaging to our love lives in the real world."
Man, I haven't heard that argument since ... a couple of days ago.
There is no good reason to call out this article in a publication I've never even heard of before. In fact, it's not a very nice thing to do, and I'm sorry for that. It's just, I can't take anymore with these tech-destroying-love pieces. It’s “killing romance"! It's disconnecting us! Last year, there was that Atlantic cover story that suggested online dating was making it “too easy to meet someone new,” that it raised “the bar for a good relationship too high” and fundamentally threatened monogamous commitment. Just a few days later, the New York Times published a piece on how technology was destroying courtship.
It isn't just the unoriginality and fear-mongering of these pieces that grates. It's the complete blindness to all the ways that technology is actually helping relationships. Sure, online dating gets plenty of credit for helping people hook up and find love. But what about keeping people together? Tech has been a force of good in my marriage -- and we’re not alone. Of adults who said the Internet affected their relationship, 74 percent said the impact was positive, according to a Pew Research Center study. It also found that “21% of cell owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message.”
Of course, the study also found that 25 percent of cellphone owners have "felt their spouse or partner was distracted by their cell phone when they were together." People find all sorts of ways to ruin good things! I'm tired of technology being defined by excess, especially within the context of romantic relationships. Why don't we take a break for once from lamenting the text-message breakup and the specter of dating operating systems to celebrate the ways technology can actually improve our relationships -- and by improve, I mean make sexier.
High-tech sex toys
Have you seen sex toys lately? They are sleeker, sexier and more powerful than ever. Some can even be controlled by your iPhone.
How did people even flirt before the banana emoji? The correct answer is: poorly. There's nothing like a couple of tennis ball or melon emojis to make a paramour giggle like a grade schooler. In the age of ubiquitous hardcore Internet porn, that is a special thing!
Not that ubiquitous hardcore Internet porn -- another gift of technology -- is a bad thing. Yes, some people watch too much of it or they try too hard to imitate it, but as porn has become ever more visible and mainstream, it's forced couples to actually talk about it. And when you talk about porn, you often end up talking about something many couples are otherwise too scared to share: fantasies.
It's one of the great artistic mediums enabled by modern technology: the dick pic. I'm only partly joking! Dick pics gets a bad rap, mostly because of idiots who send them unsolicited. But naughty pictures are an erotic convenience that we entirely take for granted.