A Psychologist Calls Out 3 Ways The Internet Has Contaminated Romance

Technology has brought us closer in many ways, broadening our concepts of how we organize our lives and interact with the people we care about. Dating apps have made it easier to meet new people. Social media helps us stay connected throughout the day.

However, problematic behaviors have also emerged, particularly in the context of romantic relationships. Here are three signs that your use of technology may be ruining your romantic relationships instead of enhancing them.

#1. Attachment

Research explains that ignoring your partner on your smartphone (eg, eavesdropping on the phone) can gnaw at the fabric of your relationship. Study published in Personality and individual differences He calls the phenomenon of phone use “social desensitizing” — “behavior that annoys others that increases discomfort as a result of frequency and traits related to them.”

If not addressed, phubbing can lead to bigger problems. Your partner may feel very upset or disgusted by the frequent phone checks.

It is recommended that you nip the habit of getting hung up on phubbing in the bud. Maintaining healthy boundaries with your smartphone, such as making a rule that phones in a basket can’t be touched after 8 p.m., benefits not only your relationship but also your mental and physical health.

#2. Ghost

Ghosting is a common non-confrontational approach to ending a relationship that involves completely withdrawing contact from a member of the relationship. Although the research seems relevant, it warns that ghosting can exact significant psychological costs for both the ghost and the ghost.

According to psychologist Katherine Holmes of California Polytechnic State University, being ghosted by someone special can have the following negative consequences for ghosting:

  1. Not closing. Instead of accepting that he is a ghost, the ghost searches for answers as to why the ‘relationship failed’ as a way to soothe his grief. Unfortunately, coming up with false justifications can prolong one’s grief rather than resolve it.
  2. Confusion about liability. An abrupt and ambiguous end to a relationship resulting from ghosting can lead to confusion about who or what is responsible for it. Inevitably, the ghost can spiral toward self-blame, causing mental exhaustion and a lowered self-image.
  3. Avoid vulnerabilities in the future. Perhaps the most unfortunate consequence of ghosting is developing the instinct to avoid future relationships altogether. This “self-protection” strategy can prevent the ghost from forming meaningful bonds in the future.

#3. Porn addiction

While joint viewing of porn can be healthy for a couple, overuse or addiction to pornography in one or both is a definite red flag. According to a study published in Frontiers in PsychologyUnlimited access to pornography and unregulated consumption of it can have a devastating effect on your sense of self and your relationship.

According to psychologist Stephen Sammut, our preference for instant gratification can work against us when we take porn and can lead to problems like anxiety and depression. Other side effects of pornography addiction include:

  1. A low sense of self-esteem
  2. Personification of potential partners
  3. A distorted sense of reality


Relationships change with times and technologies. It falls to us to carefully examine these changes to determine which changes we want to accept and which we would be better off staying away from.


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