The Internet has opened many new doors for humanity to explore. People are working online, speaking with family, and sharing images like never before. It is an instantaneous form of communication.
It has also changed the way that many humans communicate with one another. Instead of having a face-to-face conversation or speaking with someone over the phone, you sit in front of a computer.
Instead of focusing on human touch and intimacy, our relationships become distant. The Internet becomes the middleman that arbitrates how we interact with each other.
That is why it is a silent killer. Instead of living in the moment and learning the physical aspects of relating to others, we are living in a virtual world.
Why Are We Closed Off in a World of Diversity?
Technology has helped the world to become a smaller place. We are embracing new ideas, promoting equality, and learning about other cultures more efficiently than ever before in human history.
These advantages come with a tremendous price tag: we are now more closed off from each other than ever before in history as well.
This issue happens in relationships all of the time. Couples might send a quick text to each other to check on how their day is going or to ask a question – both actions enhance the relationship. It is when one person in the relationship texts the other to see what they want to have for dinner when they’re in the same room that the Internet and tech becomes an issue.
It is far more difficult to make your meaning clear when communicating electronically than it is to have an active, in-person conversation.
What Are the Dangers of Technology in a Relationship?
If you tell someone a joke through a text or over the Internet, then you might get a LOL or a ROFLMAO. That isn’t the same thing as actually hearing someone have a laugh.
The sound of laughter has real power. It can lift your spirits when you feel down. There is also a contagious nature to such an action.
When you hear someone laughing, then most people want to know what was funny so that they can share the experience.
That goes away when we communicate over the Internet.
We also use the Internet as a way to lessen the blows of a needed confrontation. It is challenging to speak with people face-to-face when there are issues that require resolution, but relationships falter when you go online to resolve problems because emotions do not transfer from one person to the other as well.
It might feel good to block the adverse emotional responses that a challenging conversation can trigger, but that also means we lose the empathy that would be in that situation. Far too often, being on the Internet causes us to send a different message than intended, leading toward more confusion, pain, and anger than we realize.
How to Avoid the Silent Killer
The only way to avoid the communication traps that the Internet provides is to make a conscious effort at having more conversations in person. That means you’ll want to put your phone down to talk with your partner instead of texting them or sending a message on Facebook Messenger.
That doesn’t mean you need to close your email accounts or stop texting entirely. It does help to limit your electronic communications to factual information only. If you need to work something out with someone when it feels unpleasant or makes you uncomfortable, then communicate in-person instead.
You are more likely to achieve a positive outcome when you take the time to work things out with someone in this way. You’ll notice that there are more opportunities to experience personal growth coming out of these challenging conversations as well.
Speaking with someone in person will also limit the delays that occur when some emails or messages require e a good answer. It is much easier to avoid the responsibilities that one has by choosing to never open the message.
When someone asks you a question where you don’t have an answer, there is no way to have emotional invisibility. You’ll need to tell them that you’re going to need to get back with them. If you rely on the Internet alone, then you could ghost them out of existence and never need to worry about them again.
Common Sense Rules to Follow When on the Internet
You should never say something to someone over the Internet that you wouldn’t tell them in a face-to-face conversation. Looking at a screen can make it feel like you’re anonymous, but that isn’t the case. Hurtful words will always come back to haunt you, and there will be a written record somewhere of what you said.
Think about all of the celebrities that have had tweets resurface after several years.
Then try to balance your time on the Internet with the moments you spend with your family and friends. If you go out to dinner, consider leaving your phone at home so that you have a conversation to fill the time. Play board games instead of video games sometimes.
If you suspect someone has a misunderstanding of what you wrote on the Internet, then clear the air immediately in-person. Try to explain your position without being judgmental about the possible misinterpretation.
Gentle smiles and warm hugs have far more power to change a person’s life for the better than a string of emojis.
The Internet is a fantastic tool that helps us to accomplish a great many things. It helps to bring us together, but there are times when being online can drive us further apart from one another too.
If we can take the time to be conscious of our emotions and communicate them outside of this medium, then the Internet cannot be the silent killer anymore.