In this digital age, technology is a major part of relationships. The fear of dehumanization due to extensive use of technology makes sense, but technology used moderately can actually enhance relationship quality. Here are 5 ways technology can enhance your relationship:
1. Text at various points throughout the day.
For couples that live separately, a “good morning” text shows your partner that he or she was among your first thoughts after waking up. For all couples, sending a text to support your partner before or after an important presentation or quickly sharing funny YouTube clips and Emojis about in-the-moment feelings can deepen the connection. Do not forget to build excitement for a future face-to-face encounter. Whereas studies show that how a couple texts impact the relationship, a BYU study shows that texting has its limits. According to the study, using text to settle disputes, apologize or make important decisions diminished relationship quality for women, while texting too frequently lowered quality for men. The moral of the story is talk about how texting should work in your relationship.
2. Use the Calendar in Your Phone.
Place all important dates in your phone’s calendar, so you remember anniversaries and birthdays. Also, schedule something special daily, weekly or every other week. For example, every other Friday schedule to send flowers, chocolates or an E card to your significant other. Surprise him with lunch or make her breakfast in the morning. Planning to appreciate or value your partner shows maximum interest.
3. Your Memo Pad can help your memory.
Use the memo pad on your phone to record the name of your partner’s favorite song, food or color. Jot down a few specific things you appreciated about your partner this week, and plan to share it later. Your memo pad and calendar work hand in hand. Dr. Sara Algoe, Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina, conducted a study in 2010 that revealed that day-to-day expressions of gratitude enhance relationship quality more than the less frequent large scale pampering. According to the study, small acts of kindness showed improved relationship quality in the next day. My clients have taught me that consistency is the key.
4. Post “Usies.”
Capture the moments from the romantic dinner out on the town to the latest excursion or adventure. Post it on your social media outlet of choice. One study published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture in 2014 shows a higher level of closeness and an ability to integrate a partner into your identity when posting pictures of the relationship publically. Chicago Tribune reporter Heidi Stevens recalls a story with a Gottman Institute-trained counselor that shared “it’s one thing to hold hands on the couch at home; it’s another to hold hands at the mall.” Showing off parts of your relationship publically leads to greater satisfaction. A blog on the The Social Media Conversations Every Couple Should Have is coming soon.
5. Video chat.
If your partner is away on a business trip or you have a long distance relationship, Skype and FaceTime can keep your fire burning. Plan a date through video chat venues. Schedule to watch a Netflix movie and share the screen so you can enjoy it together.
Use these five tips and post how it has changed your relationship.