Posted by: Jenn Deering Davis | February 16, 2010

How does technology affect your relationships?

I’m speaking at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive conference and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I’m on the panel titled “Is technology weakening interpersonal relationships?” (scheduled for Friday, 3/12, at 3:30 p.m.).

In this panel, I’ll be discussing the impact of technology on relationships, particularly as it relates to work. I’ll be drawing on various studies I’ve conducted and examined in the ten years I’ve been studying communication technologies. In particular, I want to share lots of statistics, findings, and anecdotes with the audience about the ways technology use affects relationships.

So, this is where you come in. Do you have any interesting stories you’d like to share? I’m looking for real, personal examples of technology’s impact on your life and your relationships. Stories can be about any kind of communication or information technology – mobile phones, computers, TV, specific websites or services, etc… And the tech can affect your life in any way, positive or negative, short-term or long-term. I’m looking for all kinds of anecdotes that answer the question:

How has technology impacted your personal relationships?

You can leave your stories as a comment here or email me at jdeeringdavis at gmail dot com.  Feel free to leave your contact info if you want me to mention you by name, or leave an anonymous comment if you’d prefer to remain unknown (or email me and I’ll keep it confidential). I’ll be posting my final SXSW presentation after the conference, and will link back to you and your story if you’d like. Just let me know what you’d prefer. Thank you for your help!



  1. I can honestly say that if my husband would have owned a cell phone when we first started dating I would not have married him. He would have been on the phone the entire date and I would have never been able to discover what I truly “Love” about him. More than likely there would have never been a second or third date.

    I cannot tell you the countless hours I have spent sitting by myself in a restaurant while he was on the phone with a call he, “absolutely had to take”

  2. I didn’t get a chance to finish, He has since been rehabilitated and has learned to leave it alone, if the call is not a family member – can absolutely wait.

  3. In addition to mobile, the television has put a break on social visits. I recall my childhood. Every other day we had family friends visiting us or we would be going over for just social visits to their homes. We used to sit and indulge in good natured talking and most of the time eating this or that. Such a sharing kept us really close and in touch with each other’s lives. Exchanging letters has stopped almost totally. We are encouraged to be brief in our emails of phone calls.Only absolutely necessary news are shared, if at all they ar.


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