This one is a doozy and I never thought this could happen to me, but did you know that technology can easily become a constant source of affirmation in your life, to the point where you end up neglecting your important friendships and relationships?
Yep, its possible, so be aware.
With all the technology options available to us today (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, chat, email, iPhones, iPads etc) it is overwhelmingly easy to turn to it when our friendships or relationships hit a rough spot. Here’s why…we find ourselves naturally gravitating to it because the people who are in the “virtual world”, well…they love us! and we experience things like; acceptance, we feel cared for and even to some degree people are there for us whatever the situation might be.
Over time though, the problem is that the technology becomes such an easy, instant source of affirmation, that we end up turning to the technology, instead of seeking the affirmation from our relationships which is where we should be receiving it from.
Personally, I think it goes without saying that the most love and affirmation we should experience should come from our close relationships (spouse, children, friends, etc). And at the same time it also goes without saying that, that is often where we can feel the most unloved, criticized and no where close to affirmed. That’s just part of being in relationship though, it has its challenges. But if we learn how to work through those challenges and not take the path of least resistance, the need we have to be affirmed will be satisfied in our friendships and relationships and not by the technology.
Here is a past example of how this played out in my life, maybe you can relate: I get into a confrontation with my wife about something, instead of talking through the issue with her, I choose to ignore the situation, jump on Facebook or Twitter, because I know that everyone on those sites seems to love me. And let’s be honest, we often put our best foot forward when we present ourselves online, where our family sees us for who we really are. So since I get affirmation from Facebook and Twitter, I will turn to it more often and more quickly, while in the process, very slowly, and sometimes quickly neglecting those I care about the most.
You see my point? It’s a nasty cycle that repeats itself unless something is done to change it. Because the more and more affirmed you are with technology, the more likely you are to spend more and more time with it, and the more you will neglect your friendships and relationships.
Do you find affirmation seeking an issue in your friendships or relationships?
Love to hear your thoughts on this topic!