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  • Writer's pictureIsabel Aneyba

Are Loving Relationships at Risk?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

News this week has marked the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. As the iPhone evolved over the past decade so has the behavior of Millennials. Here’s a look at key social impact:

Life Once Removed

Are Millennials living more of a virtual life than a real life?

Millennials are life explorers but they do not fully live experiences. Addicted to their smartphones, Millennials have abandoned, even spurned personal ways of communicating. Texting substitutes for dating. Millennials document events rather than experience what is unfolding. The smartphone’s camera screen is the intermediary, generating a photo, video or livestream.

Riveted rather than Riveting

Are Millennials at risk of having superficial, simulated relationships?

Constant, nearly continuous viewing of social media feeds keep eyes riveted to a screen rather than the people and world around them.

Experiences? The smartphone is a barrier as well as an enabler. A means to avoid contact. To keep others and what’s happening at a distance. A way of maintaining distance from the rough edges of reality both in behavior and emotionally. 

Millennials’ external focus on selfies and reporting their lives online make them more concerned about appearances than listening to their “inner voice”. The “inner voice” is genuinely interested in other people, while the “ego” is interested only in what other people can do for us.  Millennials derive instant gratification from responses to social media posts. But they also feel anxious, insecure and the need to construct an appealing self. 

What is the implication of being more concerned about appearances? An impact is that our society is a more “self-centered and virtual” than a “caring and real”. 

Being There

Do we know how to build strong relationships? We do. Let’s support the movement to “unplug” when we meet with people. Let’s turn off and put away our smartphones. Let’s give our undivided attention to our “inner voice” and to others. I do it. I feel more alive because I get to know people, collaborate with them and strengthen relationships. After all, strong relationships make people truly happy.

COMARKA research empowers marketers to develop fruitful emotional connections with their customers through dialogue.

For more information, please contact the author: Isabel Aneyba at Thanks to Marie Lemerise for her wonderful contribution to this article.

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