When was the last time you read an article that said: "Social media/phones/Internet/etc killed relationships"? Or have you seen any studies that say that we're less connected with each other now more than ever before? And of course, Facebook and Instagram are to blamed. But here's an alternative reason as to why relationships are "dead":
Relationships killed relationships.
Parents are complaining about their kids spending more time on their phones during dinner than actually having meaningful conversations. But are the phones to blamed? Or are we instead using phones, social media, and the internet to escape a reality that is far more grim: our real life relationships often suck. What kind of conversations were these parents having with their children? "How was school", "What chores did you get done today?", and so on. The parents that have always had interesting and meaningful conversations with their children probably aren't having this problem. This is because we've simply run out of things to say to each other. We've exhausted every potential small talk about the weather, school - which continues to be equally monotonous and uninteresting in most of the United States - and are at a loss.
When individuals have meaningful relationships with others, technology and social media allows them to stay connected with those friends. For those who are struggling to find fulfilling connections in the environments around them, they're likely to escape into a virtual reality that gives them the love and acceptance they've been searching for - and these don't have to be mere illusions, either. Let's stop blaming the Internet and social media for the end of relationships. And instead let's reevaluate what those "relationships" have been in the first place. If we simply blame our phones for our problems, we're failing to address the inner emotional wants people have been carrying with them. The only difference from today and 100 years ago is that we have a new medium to escape a reality we do not want to partake in.